We launched our new project ‘Fair Play Malawi’ with a sitting volleyball training program for our volunteers from September 30th to October 5th. The volunteers will run inclusive sports activities in Nsomba and Kapeni in Blantyre District to change social attitudes and show that disability is not inability. 6 youth volunteers, 2 partner colleagues and I took part in training provided by Eric Gakwaya; a volleyball and sitting volleyball coach, who competes for the Rwanda National sitting volleyball team and came down to Malawi to share his expertise.

As is always the way with something completely new, Eric spent the first day laying a foundation of the rules and technicalities of the sport. At the end of the session, Eric got us to work together to draw the court lines as an exercise.  The rest of the days were filled with Eric conducting trainings through practical engagement, videos and teaching from the front.

Eric’s ability to impart knowledge using the See, Do, Teach (See an example, Do the example, Teach another the example) made the sessions very interactive. It also allowed for the participants to ask questions and offer ideas about how we would run our own trainings.

As each day of training passed, I felt I could breathe a sigh of relief. As Programme Manager I was responsible for the planning and recruitment of the volunteers. I had always felt nervous when I thought about how the volunteers would run the project, but Eric was able to provide a wealth of knowledge for the team. I definitely felt that the team had been given the knowledge and insights to effectively carry out their activities; and helped me to imagine the all the things we would be able to achieve in the project.

Aggrey Masi

Malawi Programme Manager