Exchange project on gender equality in volleyball

Participants from Germany and Tanzania learn the rules of the game

FARU in the Sand

Partner organisations: FARU Sports Foundation

Partner country: Tanzania

Duration: January – December 2022

SDG: 5. Gender equality

Project gave participants from the FARU Sports Foundation and Sand für Alle opportunity to find out more about Tanzania and Germany, play volleyball and meet new people -  all while working together on SDG 5, “Gender equality”.

SDG 5: Gender equality

Focus on volleyball

The project was all about volleyball, looking at questions like “Who plays volleyball?”, “Who trains the teams?”, “Who is represented at the management level in the organisational structures?”, “What is the gender equality situation at the various levels?” and “What challenges exist in the two countries in this context?”. The project participants drew up questionnaires, interviewed women volleyball players about their experiences and conducted discussions and workshops at schools and at Kampala University in Dar es Salaam. Their aim was to develop strategies for action to promote equality in volleyball for all genders.

The photo shows a volleyball training session. There are several young people on the sand court. One of them is running with a ball, another is about to throw a ball. There are other people standing and sitting around the edge and on the path slightly abo
In action: Intense concentration on the training court and in the stands.

But the groups also actually played volleyball, of course, and learned about different training scenarios and methods in the process. As Victoria John from Tanzania pointed out, a key takeaway was that sport “unites people and we need to encourage girls to try new ideas and new games.  There is no such thing as a ‘game for boys’ or a ‘game for girls’. Everyone, regardless of their gender, can play all sports.”

To bring this message to a wider audience and highlight the issue, the group also took part in the Young Beach tournament in Hamburg and, along with other teams from Kenya, the Coco Beach Cup in Dar es Salaam.

I have realized that sports is the way to go. It unites people and we need to encourage girls to try new ideas and new games. There is no game for boys or for girls. Everyone regardless of their gender can play all sports.

Finding out more about partner countries and people

Although the focus was on volleyball, there were opportunities to find out more about the two partner countries too. Tanzania and Germany are linked by their colonial past - an aspect that the project participants learned a lot about during their visit to Bagamoyo, which was the capital city under German colonial rule.

The photo shows at least 17 people, standing around a conical stone monument. The monument is in Bagamoyo, which was the capital of Tanzania in the colonial era. The young people appear to be listening to a guide.
The volleyball groups from Tanzania and Germany on a visit to Bagamoyo, which used to be the capital of what was German East Africa.

Engaging with history, reflecting on their time together on the exchange and playing volleyball helped strengthen ties between Hamburg and Dar es Salaam, as Sinja Reich from Germany confirms:

“It was great to be able to make so many new friends and I hope this opportunity will be made available to even more people”.

Bildergalerie mit Bildern aus dem Projekt

Long-term impact

Even though the project has come to an end, the partners are continuing their gender equality action. They plan to implement the action strategy to make their activities more sustainable and equitable in the long term. And the participants themselves will pass on what they learned on the project too. Victoria Mwita from Tanzania, for instance, wants “ encourage other young girls to make sure they fight for their rights, to make sure they use their talent.”

I want to encourage other young girls to make sure they fight for their rights, to make sure they use their talent.

This group photo shows 18 cheerful youth exchange participants. Some of them have their arms up in the air.
The beaming athletes rarely passed up an opportunity for a group photo.