Ballin' in Benin
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Info about the Ballin' in Benin
Four handball teams at a high school in southeastern Benin currently train and play under the direction of the professor of sports at the school. Currently, the teams play on a loose dirt court created at the local high school. This court is largely unsuitable for a sport that requires dribbling, particularly during the rainy season. With the help of funds from the Partnership Program, the school will be able to construct a high quality, durable handball court on the school grounds.
This court will encourage new players to join the handball program and allow the current players to increase their level of participation. Through handball, players will learn such skills and grow in such areas as teamwork, leadership, self-esteem, respect, and communication. The practice of sport has an immense positive impact on the lives of young people, and is a recognized tool in youth development. Youth who have productive outlets in which to spend their energy and free time are less likely to engage in potentially dangerous behaviors, do better in school, and are healthier—physically and mentally. The role of sport in youth development is especially pertinent for girls, who have few opportunities for social interactions outside of the home.
The new court would also allow the community to host handball tournaments and matches, thus promoting cultural exchange between the local players and students from other parts of the country.
This court has been identified as a priority by the professor of sports and the high school’s director and they have both put forth extraordinary efforts to mobilize resources for this project. The community has mobilized a large amount of resources—over $4800 in cash and in-kind contributions (such as labor, fill earth, nails, and wood), but a considerable amount is still necessary for this project to become a reality. This proposal requests $11,450 in order to build the court, which will be a great asset to the community at large.
Note: This summary was provided by a Peace Corps Volunteer and the community administering this project.