2021 Annual Report


2021 was a year of significant challenges for the children we work with. Pandemic lockdowns continued to keep many out of school and away from friends and supports. Conflict ripped communities apart and forced families from their homes. And millions of children were subjected to child labour, early marriage and pregnancy, their dreams and future shattered by violence, inequality, and discrimination.

Right To Play responded to help children stay in school and graduate, resist exploitation, overcome prejudice, prevent disease and heal from the trauma of war. In our 2021 Annual Report, you'll meet children and youth who overcame incredible obstacles to claim their right to education, heal from psychological trauma, and empower their peers, and you’ll meet the teachers and coaches who supported them.

2021 also marked the first year of our new five-year Strategic Plan, which will see us protect, educate, and empower more children than ever before. Our Annual Report spotlights programs and innovations that are using play to improve child protection, quality education, girls’ empowerment and health and well-being in 15 countries around the globe.

It’s the support of our donors that makes this work possible. Thank you for empowering children to rise.



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Thanks to your support, 1.52 million children and 15,119 youth participated in experiential activities that helped them build core life skills, made learning more exciting, and empowered them to become advocates for themselves and others. In Ghana, 73% of girls in Right To Play-supported schools are reading better and faster since the start of programs, compared to 60% of girls in unsupported schools.

Over the year, we coached more than 9,800 Junior Leaders to support their peers through mentorship programs and leadership clubs, in and out of the classroom. More than 542,500 parents and caregivers engaged in activities that helped them support their children’s growth and educational goals through activities that promote positive communication, relationship-building, and children’s rights. In Mali, the proportion of girls who felt protected in their communities increased from 39% at the start of the project to 70% at the end.

And in 67 refugee communities, we provided psychosocial support to more than 80,900 children through sessions designed to help them express their emotions, build resilience, and foster healthy coping skills. In a program in Thailand, 65% of migrant youth reported being able to manage their emotions when they finished the program, compared to 23% at the start.

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2021 marks the beginning of our new strategic plan, which will see us focus on reaching the most vulnerable children with programs that improve girls’ empowerment, child protection, quality education, and health and well-being. We'll expand our use of play in all its forms to empower children to achieve their full potential, and engage worldwide support to improve children’s development outcomes.


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Arfaana is the first person in her family to attend school and intends to follow her dreams to become a doctor. Adele is a youth leader in Tanzania who is empowering young women to resist female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. Haitham is a coach who is using what he learned from Right To Play to help children increase their self-confidence and show their unique strengths through sports and physical exercise. Learn more about the youth and coaches in our programs and how they are changing communities for the better.


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We are deeply thankful for the individuals, governments, foundations, agencies, and businesses whose support makes our work possible. The continued partnership of our donors allows us to run play-based programs for girls’ empowerment, gender equality, child protection, and health and well-being.

Thank you for your commitment to our mission to protect, educate, and empower children. Thank you for working towards a future where children are free from abuse, heard and respected, and empowered.