WHY IS PLAY SO IMPORTANT?
The UN recognizes play as the right of every child. Play is not a luxury; it is a tool for education and health. It can bring entire communities together and inspire every individual. A game of football can teach children about tolerance and peace, a game of tag can teach about malaria. Play helps teach important life lessons and develop skills like cooperation, leadership and teamwork. Play provides a retreat from everyday hardships and brings joy and laughter, allowing kids to be kids.
WHAT IS RIGHT TO PLAY?
Right To Play is a global organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. It was founded in 2000 by Johann Olav Koss, a four-time Olympic gold medalist and social entrepreneur. Through sports and games, we help children build essential life skills and better futures, while driving social change in their
communities with lasting impact.
WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO PLAY?
Right To Play promotes the involvement of all children and youth. We believe that the power of play can transform a child’s life. That’s why we are working in the most disadvantaged areas engaging girls, persons with disabilities, children affected by HIV and AIDS, street children, former child combatants and refugees.
WHAT DO WE DO? WE EDUCATE.
We Help Children Learn. We improve academic performance by using games as a tool for education, fostering physical, cognitive and social development.
We Promote Health by encouraging physical fitness, mobilizing communities around national health issues, and educating about disease prevention priorities including HIV/AIDS, malaria and immunization.
We Build Peace by teaching conflict resolution and peace building skills, while helping heal children and communities affected by war.
We Develop Communities by engaging local staff and volunteers and partnering with local organisations to build infrastructure.
WHO HAVE WE REACHED?
We reach one million children in regular weekly activities and 49% of those children are female. Right To Play is in more than 20 countries including programs in Benin, Burundi, Canada, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories (West Bank and Gaza), Peru, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand and Uganda.
HOW DO WE DO IT?
Our programs are facilitated by more than 600 international staff and 13,500 volunteer Coaches. Coaches are local leaders and teachers who are trained in our specially designed programming. They implement the programs based on the needs of their communities. We also encourage leadership at all ages by providing youth with unique opportunities. Junior Leaders, some as young as eight years old, become empowered through participating in Right To Play programs.
Some of our programs involve training and technical assistance. We work with partner organizations in Bolivia, Colombia, Kenya, Norway, Panama, Peru and the United States where we train local organizations in Right To Play’s unique methodology to implement programs.
WHO ELSE IS ON OUR TEAM?
In addition to our staff and Coaches, we are supported by a global network of professional and Olympic athletes from more than 40 countries. As role models, these athletes inspire children and lend their voice to the cause.
ARE WE MAKING A DIFFERENCE?
Yes, we are empowering and educating tomorrow’s leaders. Our programs continue to produce results. We see improved academic performance, increased participation and attendance in schools, reduction in violence, increased awareness and steps taken to prevent disease. By working with children and their communities, we are contributing to sustainable change.