In some circumstances, especially during conflict, playing sports is as paramount as bread. Kids can play, have fun, and escape the daily stress of living in a country torn by war. The moment you see a smile full of hope from a young girl in a conflict zone, it will change you for life.
LKTBF Ambassador & Fingerprint Haitham Aleter has been building his own volleyball project in Syria to create an opportunity for hope using the power of volleyball.
"I want these kids to look into the future with optimism and hope."
Haitham his Background
Haitham grew up in a city in Syria where volleyball was a widely practiced sport. He started playing volleyball at the age of seven and joined the Salamiyah Sports Club when he was thirteen.
Five years later, he started playing as a semi-professional in the first-class league and the junior national team in and out of Syria. His volleyball career continued for about fifteen years until the conflict in Syria started. He had to leave the country. He decided to seek asylum in Germany and continued playing volleyball.
Haitham also started his coaching career, and thanks to the support he had received from the country and his own efforts, he is now working as a coach in the German Bundesliga while building and supporting his project in Syria.
Volleyball for Future
One of the big successes during Haitham's project is the quick response and the support he received from his volleyball friends and family. Volleyball for Future is not only creating a positive impact for the children but for their parents as well.
"Imagine being in nonstop fear because of the war, but seeing your seven-year-old daughter playing volleyball and making friends with a smile full of hope and joy. These small moments will be watermarked in your memories forever."
The cost of living in Syria is relatively expensive because of the war. Volleyball for Future supports children and their parents by donations of volleyball gear, as well as providing basic support in food and education. When you combine everything together it is a big relief for everyone.
Haitham’s main goals are reducing the effects of conflict in Syria and helping the children to pursue education through practicing sports in general.
In the long term, he wants to contribute to achieving our global federation’s (FIVB) goal to become the number one sport supporting the needs of the family.
"Our project is slowly growing and getting more attention in other regions. There are many conflict zones in the middle east and I believe with the help of LKTBF we can scale to many other countries as well to create even more impact."
Using the Power of Volleyball to Escape from Conflict
LKTBF supported Haitham's project by collecting necessary gear and equipment. In collaboration with the German Bundesliga club USC Munster, we used our Happiness Project to provide extra balls and kneepads.
LKTBF Fingerprint Peter van Tarel who is the Sports Development Manager at the Dutch Volleyball Federation (Nevobo), helped with a fundraiser at our online impact platform.
His goal was to collect 400 euros so we could provide a full-time year salary for a local coach in Syria to help Haitham's project. Thanks to all donations, Peter his fundraiser managed to double the amount to 800 euros.
"There are many volleyball friends and fans around the world. But due to the living conditions and the political situation of their country, not everybody finds equal opportunities to fulfill their simplest dreams, which is playing sport. I believe LKTBF is a place that helps these dreams come true."
The world needs projects such as Volleyball for Future in Syria to promote economic and social development through sports and volleyball in particular. Volleyball is very much loved and played by women and girls which makes it a great vehicle to positively impact their lives.
It is essential to create awareness, amplify our stories, and unlock the power of volleyball. Would you like to get involved? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!