“Right To Play uses sports and play to educate and empower children and youth in disadvantaged communities, to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict, and disease. We especially treasure Norseman’s donation, as a token of solidarity from athletes, volunteers and communities that appreciate how sports can help a child grow,” says Johann Koss, President of Right To Play International. Johann Koss is a former Olympic speed skating champion, who founded Right To Play in 2000.
“Right To Play places special emphasis on training and empowering children and volunteers to build better lives in their home communities. As dedicated volunteers, with strong local bases, we find Right To Play’s work an inspiration and very well worthy of our support,” says Irene Vivelid, President of Hardangervidda Triathlon Club, which organizes Norseman. Irene is the driving force behind the Norseman volunteer base in Eidfjord.
In Mozambique, Right To Play engages 20 000 kids in activities 1-2 times per week. 300 volunteers plan and implement the activities. Their goal is to provide basic skills, help more children complete primary education, and improve children’s knowledge of health issues.
One of the volunteers is Celia Mugabe, from Xai-Xai in Mozambique’s Gaza province. Celia has been involved in Right To Play since 2006. In Mozambique, very few women are able to read and write. Celia had a tough childhood, but still managed to complete secondary school and is now a police officer.
Many of the teenage girls in her Right To Play group remind her of herself and the challenges she faced when she was their age. And she knows the value of being a good role model in her community. “The children know that I’m a police officer and they are inspired by that. I tell them the importance of sport and play and staying active in school,” says Celia. “I adore working with children. I come back from work tired, but I go to the field to play with the children. I feel free and I like it.”
About Right To Play
Right To Play is a global NGO, which aims to help children build essential life skills and better futures, while driving lasting social change in their communities. Right To Play uses play to help develop skills like co-operation, leadership and teamwork, to foster physical, cognitive and social development, and to provide a retreat from everyday hardships – a space where kids can be kids. On Right To Play’s agenda is physical fitness, mobilization around national health issues and disease prevention, conflict resolution and peace building, and building support infrastructure.
Right To Play has ongoing projects in 20 countries in Africa, Asia and South America, usually in the most disadvantaged areas. The NGO specifically engages girls, persons with disabilities, children affected by HIV/AIDS, street children, former child combatants and refugees.
For more information, see www.righttoplay.com