Every day millions of children are challenged by poverty, war, disease and poor education. Challenges that rob them of their dignity, their promise, and puts them at risk. Right To Play believes that each child deserves the chance to succeed and thrive.
20 June is World Refugee Day – the day the world commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. Right To Play works in 52 refugee camps - in Uganda, Ethiopia, Thailand, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories - giving children the chance to re-build a sense of personal value, belonging and self-worth, and to feel connected with one another, family and their host communities.
Giving children a sporting chance in life
As Official Charity Partner of British Athletics, Right To Play is giving children a sporting chance in life.
Image above: James Ellington (second from right) with relay teammates at the 2016 Muller Anniversary Games.
James Ellington, Right To Play Athlete Ambassador, says: "Every day tens of thousands people around the world are forced to flee their homes, many of these are children. As well as suffering trauma and emotional turmoil, their education is disrupted. Right To Play gives children real opportunities to learn and grow through the power of sport and play and I am proud to support their work".
Right To Play have developed an innovative model of play-based learning to enhance quality education around the world. For instance, silent games which encourage children to express themselves via their body language, teach team building and cooperation skills. Read how they are making a difference to one Syrian child below.
How Fares overcame the terrors of war
Fares an eight year old boy, was caught in the middle of the siege in Yarmouk, one of the bloodiest battles to date in the ongoing Syrian war. He and his family fled their home and took refuge in Lebanon, becoming one of the 1.2 million Syrian refugees registered there.
Even after his family reached safety, the sounds of the bombs, shootings and the violence stayed with the little boy. Fares developed severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
His extreme anxiety was overwhelming and he began to suffer from panic attacks. Fares couldn't sleep and he stopped communicating with others, causing him to isolate himself at school and fall behind.
Soon, Fares stopped going to school regularly. His mother took him to several doctors, but they could offer no solutions.
On a rare day when Fares felt well enough to attend school, his teacher—a newly-trained Right To Play coach—introduced one of Right To Play's educational games to his class. Fares was captivated. Playing in an inclusive, accepting and safe environment also helped to reduce his severe anxiety and build friendships with his classmates.
Since that day, Fares has attended school regularly and eagerly participates in Right To Play lessons. He has begun to recover from the psychological traumas he experienced. The play-based learning approach has increased his concentration and he has made several friends with whom he plays and studies. His education and life are now back on track.
Attending the Müller Anniversary Games on 9 July? Be sure to visit the Right To Play fan zone and take part in games and a quiz to win prizes.
Click here to find out more about partnership with Right To Play.