Saving Children from Picking the Wrong Path in Uganda
Volleyball has saved many children in Uganda from getting involved in activities that could have ruined their futures. Founder and coach Joshua, from Elyon Volleyball Club in Uganda, uses the power of volleyball to help underprivileged children to find joy, self-confidence, and an opportunity for education.
Most of his children were orphans and struggling in the classroom. However, they became skilled volleyball players. Volleyball was giving them more self-confidence and a way to receive a better education.
Joshua's dream was to build a volleyball club where children from outside his school could attend his volleyball practice. This year (2021), Joshua officially registered Elyon Volleyball Club.
Joshua his Background
Joshua grew up in a village in the eastern part of Uganda. His parents were not together. His mom was young and struggled to take care of him so he lived with different families in the village.
When he was around eight years old, he went to a sponsored program so that he was able to go to school. Joshua started playing volleyball in secondary school and continued following a teacher course after.
He decided to leave the village and moved to the central part of Uganda. There he got a job as a teacher at Children Welfare Mission (in the Netherlands, known as Kinderhulp Afrika).
Children at this organization are required to do sports activities after school, so Joshua started offering volleyball training. He began with a primary school group and later on in secondary school as well.
Joshua had very little knowledge but an immense passion for the game. He acquired more knowledge through the internet and saw his passion and love for the game grow stronger as the children gained interest too.
"Most of my children were orphans, and I was noticing their smiles while they were playing volleyball. They were struggling in class but became skilled volleyball players. It was giving them more confidence."
Joshua decided to attend the FIVB coaches course in 2013, followed by a level one course in 2014, gaining knowledge about the game and training. His teams were improving by the day and started to win tournaments. They even got invitations to play matches, but they could not attend those matches because of insufficient finance.
Using the Power of Volleyball for Education
Because of their growing skill levels, Joshua's players got noticed during the annual championships. Other schools started to offer his players scholarships to get free education and play volleyball.
This significant and meaningful achievement encouraged Joshua to continue to train harder and help more children acquire free education through the power of volleyball.
Joshua's dream was to build a strong club that could benefit and change underprivileged children's lives and compete at the national and continental levels. To achieve his goals, he worked tremendously hard over the years:
In 2015, his teams were invited and went to play a competition in Kenya.
In 2018, there was an international competition in Uganda. Five of his players, from both genders, have represented the country under the junior category.
In 2019, Joshua attended the FIVB level two coaches course and got more contacts on the national level.
Early 2021, Joshua was appointed as a board member (Chairman of the Primary Schools Commission) of the Uganda Volleyball Federation (UVF).
In 2021, Joshua officially registered Elyon Volleyball Club and is recognized by the Uganda Volleyball Federation.
Currently, they are working on the final touches of their logo and the uniforms for the players. In the future, they hope to own their private court, but for now, they will continue using the school's court.
One of his players received a university scholarship to study for a Bachelor of Science in accounts and finance. She is yet to begin as the program got delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully, the university will not change its offer.
Let's Keep The Ball Flying
One of the biggest challenges for Joshua is the lack of equipment such as balls and nets. The number of players outweighs the number of balls that they have.
Being able to provide all the players with jerseys and shoes was also very difficult. Besides that, the support towards calendar events is lacking. Especially transportation to distant locations is a big problem.
Would you like to support/adopt Elyon Volleyball Club and Joshua? Join our Happiness Project and reach out to us.