Mississippi Million supports one million children
With just over three months to go until ex-Olympic rower and Chairman of Right To Play UK, John Pritchard, rows the length of the Mississippi river, we take a look at what this challenge will mean to children and young people around the world.
There are some comparisons we can draw between the Mississippi Million – aptly named as the fundraising target is $1 million - and Right To Play. We work with one million children every week across the Americas, Africa and Asia. This means that every $1 John raises will support a child as they attend our programmes.
Through sport and play, these children and young people, some of whom come from conflict affected areas and many of whom are living below the poverty line, gain valuable life skills including teamwork, cooperation, disease prevention and conflict resolution.
John's desire to take on the Mississippi Million challenge came about having visited a Right To Play programme in Battor, Ghana. While visiting a school for children with learning and physical disabilities, he met ten year old Richmond, who has Down's syndrome. He was struck by how small Richmond was, especially in comparison to his own son of the same age. "He was too small to play with the other children," said John, "but he was so full of character and clearly wanted to get involved."
Speaking to Richmond's teachers, John learnt that lack of resources is a huge problem, and he decided he wanted to raise funds to support Right To Play programmes in both Ghana and elsewhere. Through our programmes, children like Richmond are being given opportunities to grow and develop which they wouldn't otherwise have access to.
As John and his teammates go through a rigorous training programme in preparation for their 90 day challenge, they will be thinking about all of the children and young people whose lives will be transformed by their endeavour.
For more information, and to make a donation, visit www.mississippimillion.com