African Volleyball Turns Cindy's Dreams Into Reality
Cindy is one of our amazing fingerprints and a member of Let's Keep The Ball Flying since the very early beginning of the foundation in 2020. Every day she puts her heart and soul into the projects of the foundation. She is not only one of the leaders of the Happiness Project, the collection of volleyball gear and redistribution to communities in need, but she also helps organize events.
"It's extremely difficult to change a circumstance in this world, but what you can always do is to support an individual. Small gestures make a big difference."
The Goal: Visiting Africa
Last summer, Cindy was a part of a bigger LKTBF group that travelled to Kenya and Tanzania in Africa to go visit different volleyball academies. For almost 3 weeks they attended practices and learned from among others the coaches Samuel Gacharira (Gihurai Kimbo, Nairobi), Renovatus Six (Kilimagnet, Moshi), David Neeke (Playpositive Academy, Mwanza), and Hans Derks (HOOM, Zanzibar).
In turn, the LKTBF coaches shared their volleyball knowledge with children, young students, and coaches and they gave out collected gear, nets, and balls to contribute to our mission to connect the global volleyball family to support equal access to the power of volleyball for those communities that need it the most.
The visit for Cindy was life-changing. She says; "My brother and sister are adopted so I was always very aware of the fact of how unfair the world can be. I am born in one of the richest countries in the world where I have the luxury to stand and go where I would like to go and where I have so many opportunities just because I was born here."
For so many children in this world, it works differently. They are trying to survive day by day and they never think of future plans. I was very grateful for the invitation to come to Africa and visit the academies. However, I wasn't sure if I could make a difference for the people there and I didn't want to be just a distraction.
Cindy's feelings quickly changed when she arrived at their first stop in Nairobi, Kenya.
"I broke down in tears. The enthusiasm of the kids and the gratefulness of the children and coaches were so special."
Coach Samuel is very passionate and has created a support system through volleyball. He is a fantastic mentor for children living in tough circumstances in a crime area.
He uses volleyball to achieve social goals like equality and inclusion. Volleyball teaches life lessons, but it also allows receiving scholarships which provide education and a better chance of a job.
The children were so sweet and humble. They prayed for us and thanked us. I never thought that just a sport like volleyball could make such a big impact on many lives.
Our Dreams ✨
Just like the coaches at Kilimagnet, Playpositive, and HOOM, Samuel empowers young children by building their talents and growing opportunities. There was a big group of girls in Zanzibar, who played for the very first time.
They learned very quickly and it was mesmerizing to see how a shy group of children turned out into a powerful group full of cheering and fun.
There's nothing more satisfying than seeing a happy and smiling child."
It was always Cindy's dream to volunteer in Africa, but she wasn't sure how and she didn't want to go alone. However, she came back full of new experiences inspired by the African coaches and players.
The passion and work ethic (practices only stop when it gets dark) and the creativity and flexibility (sometimes we started with 8 kids and we ended the practice with 35) of the coaches are contagious. This trip has given me the positive energy to continue my work for LKTBF.
It's my dream to keep helping to grow the volleyball family with projects in our own country, but also in any other country on this globe. I cannot wait for what the future of the foundation holds.
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