Sport is a powerful vehicle for development that can help foster positive outcomes in health, social cohesion, gender equality, and disability inclusion. In Vanuatu, sport can also help shift societal norms that have typically restricted full and equitable participation in community life for women and people with a disability. Volley 4 Change (V4C) is a sport for development (S4D) program which focuses on issues of gender empowerment, disability inclusion, and health and well-being awareness through nutrition and physical activity.
The V4C program strives to drive change by empowering individuals, removing barriers and creating an enabling environment that can foster inclusion. It aims to empower women and people with a disability to participate in sport and leadership by providing training and resources that can increase their confidence, skills and capacity. It also works to tackle societal norms and attitudes which that have typically restricted participation for women and people with a disability by working directly with traditional gatekeepers such as community leaders, partners and family members, as well as showcasing the abilities and achievements of female and para-athletes to the community.
HELPR-1 recently assisted the Vanuatu Volleyball Federation (VVF) team to explore the potential for program delivery in the northern provinces, both from a logistical and developmental perspective.
Having the good fortune, and for the most part, good weather, to travel to four northern provinces – Malampa, Sanma, Torba and Penama – visiting local communities including a couple of hospitals, and being able to observe the consultation discussions between Respond Global and provincial government representatives, gave the V4C team a broad overview of the possibilities a collaboration with HELPR-1 could provide in extending the reach of the program further than ever before.
Jill Scanlon, VVF’s Media, Communications & Advocacy Adviser, said of their time onboard, “The support from the HELPR-1 team was invaluable in getting access to these islands and provinces, but also in raising awareness of the collaboration potential between the V4C team and stakeholders, leveraging Respond Global’s expertise in logistics and health support.”