• Latest News - August 20, 2014

    Breaking down barriers in Benin

    Despite Benin being one of Africa’s most stable and democratic countries, its people face severe health and educational challenges. Nearly 50% of the population is 18 years old or younger, and over 47% live on less than US $1.25 per day. Only 14% of people in Benin have access to adequate sanitation facilities, and in rural areas, this statistic often falls below 5%. Preventable diseases including malaria pose significant challenges to health, particularly for children.

    Right To Play first started working in the Kpomasse refugee camp in Benin in 2001 to aid the tide of refugees from the neighbouring countries of Togo, Nigeria and Chad. In 2004 we expanded our activities to two other communities. 

    From outcast to leader

    Christine was born blind. She grew up ashamed of her disability because her parents considered her a burden and curse. “They did not care for me as they do for my brothers and sisters,” she says.
    When Christine started a secondary school for children with visual disabilities, she was introduced to Right To Play’s programmes. “Much to my surprise, Right To Play acknowledges that I have the same rights as any child,” says Christine.
    Right To Play trained teachers and equipped them with the skills to adapt and implement games with visually impaired students twice a week.
    As Christine became a regular participant in our programmes, she gained confidence and became a leader. She now not only participates in, and leads, games, but is also working to change stigmas outside school by running awareness raising sessions for parents, teachers and community leaders.

    Christine is just one example of the 37,000 children we now work with in Benin. Through weekly play and sport programmes, we are empowering disadvantaged children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease.