Enriching Youth's Health, Fitness, and Mental Well-being

  • Health
  • Education
  • Youth
  • Kyrgyz Republic
This project is led by Risa Matsumura, a Volunteer from Georgia

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With the help of the students, this project's main focus is empowering girls to become more active by teaching young men how to support girls in physical activities. This will be accomplished by re-opening and hosting a community volleyball tournament after the opening ceremony, organizing the FLY event, creating an intramural league, and training boys, girls, and teachers/staff (separately) about teamwork, leadership skills, equal opportunity, and the importance of being physically active throughout the year. The local school is located in the region center. As a result, for years, this sports hall was used as the place where community members gathered for sport tournaments and activities. On the day of the opening ceremony, local volleyball professionals will come and teach students and even teachers of all levels how to play, proper techniques, and ways to stay active through sports, such as volleyball. The day will end with a community tournament consisting of teams with town members and students. The following day, the FLY (First Love Yourself) event will be hosted for the students and community. The FLY event will consist of a morning yoga session run by a certified yoga instructor from the capital and discuss the importance of mental and emotional well-being, followed by a healthy lifestyle seminar instructed by the Peace Corps Medical Team, which will focus on smart eating, physical health, and personal hygiene. Although it is already mandatory for students to attend physical education classes, there is a very low participation rate because students are required to bring their own balls since the school no longer has any equipment. Many students cannot afford the equipment and as a result, students wonder throughout the school and school campus, spend the class period on their phones, get involved in recreational drugs/substances or simply leave school early. Additionally, this project will tackle the lack of winter fitness options by providing an indoor facility equipped with balls and training equipment so students are not forced to play outside during the near freezing temperatures from October to February. During a press conference in May 2019, the head of the Public Health Department of Kyrgyzstan, stated that 25.4% of the adult population smoke in Kyrgyzstan. By providing a space where camps and sports clubs can be held with the proper equipment, lighting, and changing room, students will likely stay away from temptations such as drinking or smoking at a young age. This project will also have a positive impact on students by relieving the stress of academic and social commitments, such as Olympiad, FLEX, Spelling bees, concerts, house work, farm work, and employment. The objective of this project is to provide a safe, welcoming, and equipped location for students and community members to stay active, enjoy sports, and learn new skills. The community contributions will include the installation of the lights, the soccer goals, the basketball nets, and two rooms to be used for changing rooms, creation of benches, transportation to and from the capital to purchase materials, table and desk for the physical education teachers and equipment room. During the FLY event, tea, bread, and snacks will be provided by the school. The project will increase and rekindle interest for sports and physical activity among community members and students year-round. Specifically for the school, by providing a space where students of all ages and abilities can gather, this will impact students to try new sports and partake in more extracurricular activities.

As a result of this project, the community will be able to take part in weekly sport tournaments and practices after school hours. The community's plan to sustain the benefits is to continue to provide the space where community members can play sports on their own time, while keeping track of the inventory to ensure that no equipment are lost. The reason why we are using two rooms to provide changing rooms is so that students feel comfortable to stay after school to participate in sports, rather than having to travel home and back to school. Additionally, all of the rooms and equipment will be utilized by professionals so even if the PCV is not present, the sports hall can continue with the help of the school staff and community members.

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