This project pertains to the construction of a multi-purpose basketball, volleyball, and soccer court in an isolated and underprivileged community in the Dominican Republic. To construct the court the community will work with a US-based non-profit, exchanging culture and supporting the Dominican youth through organized sports teams. The objective of this project is to engage the youth in wholesome activities. With the values that organized sports teach, this court will be a mechanism to help the youth develop healthy habits such as mature emotional regulation, teamwork, and goal setting. The court will provide the community with a space in which community members can develop physically, emotionally, and socially therefore decreasing the probability of succumbing to drugs, alcohol, and crime. We will build a public court and train prospective coaches to manage a team and positively influence the youth of the community. The community members involved with this project will also gain experience in leadership development, fundraising, money management, and project management. This community has already gained support to build this court by bringing together teachers, parents, coaches, and young adults. Additionally, they have donated land specifically to the development of the court and have found a contractor prepared to work. The members of the community are ready to donate time and materials to the construction, as well has facilitate fundraising efforts. They will support the process by preparing food, accommodating housing, and sharing culture with the incoming NGO volunteers.
The community is the engine of this process. The members desire a way for the youth to develop wholesome lives avoiding becoming involved in crime and other toxic activities. Since we live in an isolated area and there aren’t opportunities for the youth to be involved, there is an abundance of free time. The community wishes to fill that free time with organizations and/or events that will help the youth grow into aware, involved, and health adults.
Since the PCV have arrived, a variety of different leaders of the community have approached PCV addressing the wellbeing of the youth. A key member involved in community development proposed the idea of a court, which since then has gained support amongst various community members. This community member took it up herself to approach PCV to see if she could facilitate the process. Since then they have held various community meetings with the leaders of the community discussing the benefits of the court, as well as developed different sub-committees of the court committee to ensure the success of the project.
The community will take complete ownership once the court is finished. The court committee will have already designated the people who will be in charge of maintaining the court, and the coaches will have already formed the youth teams. Throughout this project we will hold different capacity building workshops. Through the capacity building process we will create multipliers that will take charge of managing the court and ensure success of the different sports. A timeline will be created for the maintenance of the court as well as a sports calendar will be create for practice and games. Finally, a guidebook will be designed to implement different lessons into the practices to teach values such as dedication, teamwork, emotional regulation, and goal setting and achieving. In addition to all this court offers towards the youth, we plan to hold weekly exercise classes held at the court, led by different community members to motivate the rest of the community to become more active.