Khamis Issa is preparing to play a match wearing his new equipment. Photo Credit: @UNDP Libya/ /Malek Elmaghrebi

Khamis Issa, 31, has been playing volleyball for nearly 20 years. "My love for volleyball since childhood is very deep. I worked hard so that I can continue to play." Khamis is captain of Kikla Volleyball Club team and has benefited from the new equipment provided by the Stabilization Facility for Libya, which includes sneakers, sweatshirts, and balls.

"We had to take care of ourselves in buying clothes, balls, and shoes with our own money. And if we got support, it was coming too late and useless," said Khamis.

Khamis and his teammates continued playing after the clashes in Kikla, but in very challenging conditions. Most of the time, the Kikla Volleyball Club team trained in the street.

The volleyball couch gives instructions to Khamis and his teammates. Photo Credit: @UNDP Libya /Malek Elmaghrebi

If the challenge exists, so much the solution

Led by national and municipal Libyan institutions and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Stabilization Facility for Libya (SFL) is an immediate stabilization initiative which provides quick rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and delivery of equipment to support local authorities to improve its services to their citizens.

The SFL has completed 16 projects in Kikla, including the supply of ambulances, a fire engine, generators, solar panels, and school furniture as well as the rehabilitation of the Main Hospital.

The SFL rehabilitated the Kikla Sports Centre and provided equipment in early 2018. This enabled six sports clubs (Volleyball, Soccer, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Wrestling, and Chess) and members to resume their activities in good conditions.

Khamis plays volleyball wearing his new sport shoes and clothes. Photo Credit: @UNDP Libya /Malek Elmaghrebi

Increasing interest in sporting activities

Khamis is one of many in his community who have benefited from the equipment provided. "Kikla has a good history and reputation in terms of sport achievements and participation in championships. Despite obstacles, the number of atletes in Kikla increased and reaches currently 200 from various cities," said Salem Al Qazi, Head of the Administration Department at Kikla Sports Centre, rehabilitated by the Stabilization Facility for Libya.

"Thanks to this new equipment and the repairing of the Sports Center, we have been able to relaunch sport activities including volleyball and bring in new players from neighboring cities," said Salem.

Abu Bakr Ramadan Masood, coach and volleyball player said "the clothes and boots are of excellent quality. We can see the positive difference in the performance of the team."

For Khamis, the reinvigoration of the Centre has been particularly important. "I consider the Sports Centre as my second home,” he said. “I also hope to be a volleyball coach in the future and create a junior volleyball team."

Currently, Khamis and his teammates are leading in the second division championship. Aided by the reopening of the Kikla Sports Centre and the new equipment, their ambition to enter the first division may soon be realized.

Group photo of Khamis and his teammates of Kikla Volleyball Club. Photo Credit: @UNDP Libya /Malek Elmaghrebi
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