International Day of Sport and Development for Peace shows how #SportIsMore

Sport is more than a crowded arena, an ace, a goal, or a buzzer-beater. It can help children overcome trauma and heal from the realities of war, and give a strong voice to those that were rarely heard before. It can promote health and prevent disease, and teach fair play, teamwork, and peace.

For the past 20 years, Right To Play has used sport for development to help children rise above adversity. Our programmes create a safe space where children can engage and interact, break down complex social barriers; promote peace and inclusion, and an acceptance of different genders, races, and religions; and find outlets for their emotions. Most importantly, play also provides a platform for long-term personal development.

Through all of our sport and play-based programmes, we seek to make progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of good health and well-being, quality education, and gender equality.

Girls In Ghana Find Their Voice though Sport

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In Ghana, Right To Play alumni like Bertha and Bilkis are challenging gender stereotypes using soccer as a development tool. Building on what they learned in Right To Play programmes, they’re empowering girls to be confident and lead both on and off the field.

From Displaced Child to Star Athlete

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Eh Myo Oo was living in a shelter for displaced persons in Thailand when he was introduced to the sport of seepak takraw through Right To Play programming. Playing takraw gave him a chance to be active, and to dream of a world outside the settlement. As he got better, he dreamed more. Myo now lives in New Zealand, where he competes on the national takraw team

Tala Takes a Stand in Jordan

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13-year-old Tala didn’t think it was fair that boys got to play sports outside, while girls had to stay home and do chores. Joining a Right To Play programme gave her the freedom to play, and the confidence to challenge gender inequality and help others do the same.

Said Finds Community in Football

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Said saw how poverty and drug abuse were affecting young people in his community just outside of Tripoli, Lebanon. With the help of a Right To Play coach, he started coaching weekly soccer activities to engage his community and give kids a positive, productive outlet that keeps them out of trouble.