Right To Play UK extends our heartfelt gratitude to Manal Massalha, Hackney Play Association, and Homerton Grove Adventure Playground, for their dedicated efforts in hosting a play day fundraiser.

This event was a wonderful display of community spirit and a beacon of hope for children facing the harrowing challenges of war, trauma, and displacement in Gaza and neighbouring regions.

Organised by Manal Massalha, Hackney Play Association, and Homerton Grove AP, parents and children came together at a playground in Hackney, London, to raise funds for children living through crisis.

Manal Massalha, an advocate for children's well-being, succinctly captures the essence of the initiative, emphasising the universality of play:

"Play is universal. Children anywhere, everywhere play. This is what they know to do best. It's through play that children learn, develop, grow, and express how they feel and who they are."
Hackney Play Day 2

In the midst of ongoing conflict and terrible suffering in Gaza, there is a fundamental need to ensure the safety of children. Manal Massalha said: “They need to have access to basic essentials such as clean water, food, shelter and health services. But they also need access to play. Play is therapeutic. It helps children, even if momentarily, deal with the trauma of war and forcible displacement. Play offers hope. This is why the work of Right To Play is urgently needed. Children everywhere, anywhere should be free, feel safe and be protected.”

Contributions to our Children’s Emergency Fund enable Right To Play to ensure the provision of essential psychosocial support in crises, helping children overcome trauma and fostering a secure environment for continued learning.

In Gaza, we are working closely with local groups and agencies to assess the psychosocial support and educational needs of children and youth, which will be a significant area of focus when it is safe for programmes to resume in the region.

Hackney Play Day 3

During challenging and dangerous times, play emerges as a crucial mechanism for children to cope with trauma and process emotions.

While our programming remains paused, with the support of our donors, we have provided 1,000 psychosocial support and hygiene kits to children and their families in central Gaza. With hygiene supplies and play items like colouring books, crayons, and games, the kits are helping children cope with trauma. In the West Bank, we delivered 1,100 kits containing learning and play materials to children in five schools. With winter conditions now affecting hundreds of thousands of families living in tents, we will distribute winterisation kits to help children stay warm in harsh conditions. We are committed to working with other NGOs and local partners to assess and respond to children’s needs as they evolve.

If you are passionate about supporting our initiatives and would like to contribute to programmes that protect, educate, and empower children, we invite you to join us. Whether through hosting or supporting fundraising events, your involvement can make a significant difference.

Contact us at info_uk@righttoplay.com to learn more about how you can actively contribute to Right To Play Programmes.