Empowering Girls with Volleyball4Life in Nepal
Girls are often more vulnerable. For example in Nepal, girls (more often than boys) can't finish primary school, are married off before the age of 18, and face domestic or sexual violence. These girls hardly ever have the chance to make decisions about their own lives and bodies and are more often economically dependent.
The Volleyball4Life project focuses on the empowerment of girls, with the ultimate aim that 12 to 18-year-old girls that take part in the program gain tools and skills to assert themselves and make their own decisions.
Volleyball4Life offers a grassroots volleyball program, especially for girls. We provide girls with volleyball drills and games, coaching, and community support to build new skills, self-insight, and the opportunity to share their stories and problems. All of this results in personal development and increased decision-making power for the girls.
The exceptional strength behind Volleyball4Life is Kopila Upreti. She is a very successful volleyball star in Nepal. With her impressive life story, in which volleyball has made a tremendous difference, she inspires girls in remote areas at the foot of the Himalayas. She provides volleyball training in schools and combines it with skills such as making choices, daring to speak out, and finding your talents and passion.
Kopila had to overcome considerable prejudice to be even allowed to play the national sport of Nepal. Girls were not permitted to play sport when she was young. Now she has 17 years behind her representing Nepal in International volleyball. Her journey has not been easy, but she was determined to create a better future for herself.
When I decided to leave my house, my mother, brothers and sisters, I didn’t know anything about empowerment. I just chose to leave a situation that was destructive to me. Without a plan, goal, money, or network. At that time I was only aware of one thing: if I would stay, I would die. - Kopila Upreti
Volleyball provided Kopila with the opportunity to develop herself. She learned to cooperate, to set goals, and to stand back up after diversity. She even learned to lead her team as a captain, something that brought her a lot of confidence. Sports bring freedom. Society rules do not count within the court lines.
As soon as girls step inside the court, they can let go of the stress, pressure, and expectations that society is giving them. Playing volleyball clears their mind, is fun, and makes their confidence grow. At such moments they are opening up to learn new things, develop new ideas, and to look at the situation from a bigger perspective.
Change the life of one girl so she can change a whole generation.
With Volleyball4Life, Kopila would like to provide girls with an opportunity to open up and develop themselves. The program helps them find their passion and qualities as well as setting goals and making plans. They learn how to cooperate and to speak out to achieve their goals. Step by step, they build up their self-confidence and position themselves within their family and community.
Girl's empowerment is about taking control of your body, mind, and life to unlock individual growth and establishing a tremendous contribution to your family and community. Kopila's dream is to change the life of one girl so she can change a whole generation.