All about : The importance of playing games and sports

Because playing games and sports help school integration.

With schools short of resources and struggling to provide even a basic education, children’s psychosocial development is often neglected. Yet, games and sporting activities, and the encouragement of artistic skills help children to develop essential qualities such as self- confidence, motor and communication skills, social integration, etc. And they also help to create a stimulating environment. School is no longer just a place for traditional lessons – it’s become a centre of wellbeing, interaction and pleasure – major factors in terms of motivating children. Recreational activities add extra power to the learning process.

That’s why a major part of the project is dedicated to organising a broad range of extra curricular activities using the plentiful free time (since lessons often take up only half the day) and including sports, drawing, embroidery, etc. Clubs are set up for each different area of interest and activity. The programme is developed with the schools, equipment is supplied regularly, play areas are built and teachers trained. Resource personnel are also drawn from the communities themselves to teach and talk about traditional arts (music, dance, martial arts etc.) so that the children’s ethnic and cultural identities can be developed and valued. These activities respond to three basic rights: the right to an appropriate and stimulating education; the right to play and to enjoy leisure and cultural activities; and the right to freedom of thought, religion and customs.

In the villages children have limited access to leisure activities, mainly because most of their time is spent working in the fields or on domestic chores. So, a lot of work is carried out at community level to provide play areas, build playgrounds, libraries and also introduce regular fun activities, during the school holidays in particular. Parents are shown how to make toys from recycled materials, while teenagers and children are taught how to organise activities.

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