Characters good and bad were built in the playground. We learned to enjoy defeat and accept loss graciously. Playing teaches children the importance of hard work and working as a team. It develops them holistically; the mental, physical, emotional and social aspects of a child are nurtured during play.
It is an important developmental milestone for a child to be able to play. Unfortunately, there are children in this world who fall victims to violence, labor and abuse. Oftentimes, they are also without the access to education and proper guidance which makes them prone to grow into the violence that they are used to seeing.
Charitable organizations such as Peace Players International, Project Fit America and Right to Play hopes to stop the vicious cycle of violence by incorporating sports with education for these children. Let’s learn a little more about them and how we can help:
With command centers in Washington, Cyprus, the Middle East, Northern Ireland and South Africa Peace Players International aim to “unite, educate and inspire young people in divided communities through basketball.” There is a lot of racial and ethnic tension in most of these places and PPI is capitalizing on Basketball being one of the most popular sports in the world to get young people from opposite sides of the scale to learn, play and work together.
Nowadays, it’s seldom that we see children playing outdoors. They’re often cooped up in their rooms, gadget in hand. This practice has led to an increase in the incidence of childhood obesity.
Project Fit America wants to get children playing and sweating again by raising money to fund quality fitness facilities for schools across the United States. By providing quality indoor and outdoor facilities, the PFA aims to encourage children to play and get fit again. They work with the schools and the surrounding communities to ensure that the children get all the support they need to sport a healthy lifestyle.
The UN recognizes play as the right of every child.
Founder Johann Olav Koss knows the importance of play. As 4-time Olympic Gold Medalist in Speed Skating, the Norway native began his illustrious career as a child dreaming of Olympic gold. On a trip to Eritea, Johann was moved by the resilience of the children affected by war and famine in this small African nation. They had nothing, yet they found happiness in being able to play with a makeshift ball.
Koss saw an opportunity to help these children that can make more impact than rationing food – he gave them back their right to play. Koss knows that enabling a child to play is enough to influence him to hope and work for a better future.By using sports as a tool for education has helped more than 1 Million children across the world and with them their communities.