Deaf Basketball (SOURD Basket)
We are constantly looking for ways to increase the promotion of basketball within Goma and the DRC. In our work with physically handicapped players, we already have a wheelchair basketball team, but in August we reached out to a new community, the deaf and the mute. Since August we have been training a team of deaf and mute players in basketball skills.
The idea for the team came from a 16 year old PJB Elite Girls player named Amina Naseremba. Amina is fluent in sign languages and was excited to begin a program with this new community of youth. All of the players for the team come from a local school for the deaf called EFATA. Coach Amina, even though she is hearing and speaking enabled, has also attended EFATA for the past 4 years. Amina comments on her new program, "(Coaching basketball to deaf-mute players) is not easy because it is a very aggressive sport. Coaches must be attentive and sign clearly or else there can be a lot of disputes."
So far the program has gone well. There have been some obstacles in communication and integration while starting the program, but we at PJB are confident that we can fully incorporate the deaf-mute team into the family. This will also allow for a better understanding and camaraderie amongst our players and all communities of Goma.
Life Skills Courses
The PJB Life-Skills program began this month. The first division players, encadreurs, and coaches participate in the program once a week. The first round of the life-skills course is focused on developing a general knowledge of the key themes of the curriculum: personal development, communication, collaboration, professional development, and problem solving and critical thinking. At the end of the 12 lessons, PJB will evaluate the first course and plan to expand the course to other categories and teams.
The units covered so far in October are: the importance of personal values, writing SMART goals, and personal health.
Baby-Basket Story Time
PJB began collaborating with the Maison des Jeunes library this month to host story-time for the Baby Basket team directly after their Wednesday practice. Reading aloud promotes familiarity with books, inspires curiosity, and cultivates a love of learning early in childhood. The stories will also reinforce the teaching of PJB values - discipline, team spirit, hard work, and respect.
Sal's Shoes Distribution
As posted earlier this month, we were extremely happy to receive our first shipment from our new partners at Sal's Shoes. Thanks to a joint effort, along with Falcon Coffees, we were able to provide school shoes, toys, jerseys, and basketball shoes to members of PJB and our partners. We want to again thank both Sal's Shoes and Falcon Coffee for their generosity.
Player of the Month
Team: Elite Men
Location: Maison Des Jeunes
"Lajoie is quietly the most enthusiastic participant in PJB right now. He does not always stick out, or have the loudest opinion, but he is steady in his participation and effort. He currently participating in English classes, the life skills course and is always at practice on time. Lajoie has the unique ability to remember to do things after only being told once, and does so with effort and pleasure. His curiosity, team spirit, work ethic, and respect define him as a leader who truly leads by example." - PJB coach