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Right To Play's COVID-19 Response

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The children we work with are some of the most vulnerable people in the world and are particularly affected by a crisis like this one. With an estimated 91% of the world's population currently not attending school, it is vital that we continue to be there for children now and in the future. But we can't do it alone.

There are confirmed COVID-19 cases in every country where Right To Play operates. The sad truth is that children are negatively impacted by COVID-19 in all areas of their life: education, nutrition, safety, social bonds and health. School systems in many countries are already stretched, and the poorest countries cannot afford online learning platforms to reach children isolated at home. This means the barriers to education that children are already facing have become even more severe.

While the education gap widens, there has also been an increase of 20-45% in cases of gender-based violence. It is estimated that 10 million girls may never return to education when the crisis is resolved.

These numbers are stark and alarming. We urgently need your help to continue our work with the world’s most vulnerable children.

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The Effects of COVID-19 on Children

Children’s education has been interrupted, the systems that protect them from abuse and exploitation are disrupted and their families and communities placed under stress by health and economic burdens. We have identified the following key areas of concern for the children we serve:

  • Neglect and maltreatment due to limited childcare options and the heightened risk of psychological distress or illness among caregivers.
  • Increased incidences of violence including domestic violence, corporal punishment, sexual exploitation and child marriage, due to school closures, persistent gender norms/inequalities and lack of access to basic services.
  • Psychosocial distress due to isolation measures, illness or death in the family.
  • Interrupted learning, children are deprived of in-school learning and opportunities including social contact that is essential to their development.
  • Dangerous, exploitative work due to the loss of family support, care and household income.
Our Emergency Response

Right To Play has implemented a plan to urgently respond to the needs of children in quarantine with three focuses:

  1. Keep children safe and healthy by teaching life-saving hygiene and handwashing practices. We are using radio, TV, and mobile phones to reach communities to share important information and help prevent the spread of the virus. Where communities do not have access to these technologies, we are going door-to-door to ensure families have the right information and hygiene products to protect themselves.

  2. Keep children mentally strong by providing psychosocial support for those facing anxiety and trauma. We are delivering over 30 Health and Psychosocial Support (H&PSS) activities catered to children and parents, including short videos that teach simple exercises for maintaining their psychosocial health.

  3. Keep children learning through reinforcing the ability of teachers to reach children at home. We are using child-friendly distant education methods such as TV, radio and online learning to deliver play-based activities that strengthen children’s reading and maths skills.

In just a few weeks, we have been able to adapt our collection of life skill games, materials and resources as well as our delivery method while children are out of school. Thousands of children have already participated in Right To Play-led preventative handwashing activities, and are gaining remote access to critical lessons on topics like social distancing, conflict resolution, literacy and numeracy.

What Can I Do to Help Those Affected?

The worst health crisis of a generation is challenging the world. We are extremely concerned about how COVID-19 will affect the most vulnerable people.

We will work to ensure the world’s most vulnerable children and young people get the support they need during this crisis, but to do this, your help is critical.

Your gift could make a difference for a family who urgently needs it:


Times are tough, but we are asking you to face the challenge with us, for the sake of the millions of children who need your support more urgently than ever. Your gift could save lives.