Sports for Youth Development
Building community amongst local youth through volleyball!
Some rural communities struggle with lack of resources and recreational activities. In my experience, the majority of the people in my community play soccer and ride their bikes.
Most people these days spend their free time at home, watching TV or playing on their phones. As a Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer, I strive to promote recreational arts and sports for the children and youth in my community. Sports have many benefits like increasing self-esteem, improving teamwork, and communication skills.
The volleyball project came to life with planning, support, and time. First, the Local Development Association (Asociación Desarrollo Integral) constructed the volleyball tubes using cement, sand, rocks, tires, and metal tubes. Then, the Peace Corps generously donated 10 volleyballs.
People of all ages come out to participate and play three times a week. Additionally, a local volleyball coach has volunteered his time to coach to youth on Saturdays.
It has been amazing seeing the project develop. At first, we jumped from different locations and played on random days. Now we are playing in the local community center.
I have seen children interested in learning the techniques and rules. Young adults and older individuals are there to encourage and teach the younger ones as well. It has become a space of learning and having fun for all ages.
A few weeks ago, the Local Development Association hosted a sports day and we collaborated by organizing a volleyball tournament. People from neighboring communities competed against one another. Other Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) came out to support and even created their own team to compete.