Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Right to Play...a good way to volunteer, donate, fundraise!

To improve the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace.
To create a healthier and safer world through the power of sport and play.
Right To Play’s values reflect the best practices of sport and play.
(From Right to Play website)
Johann Olav Koss is/was a successful Olympic speed skater who donated the prize money from his winning to start an organization now known as Right To Play, whose mission and vision and values are noted above.
While it is true that this organization and Koss' initiative, courage and vision have developed the concept from its small beginning, and that demonstrates effective leadership, it is more than a leadership story.
It is a story of hope and of challenge and of finding new direction when the former association with the Olympics itself was denied at the Vancouver games earlier this year.
Right to Play is a beacon of hope lifting the spirits, and thereby the potential for life, for new relationships, for new levels of school achievment with improved self-image of the children whose lives intersect with the workers, both paid and volunteer, who make the organization run.
And any "first world" politician who thinks or believes that sport is not useful to a child's development has never had the joy of scoring a goal in any game, or better yet, of scoring more than one goal. It is something that is remembered for a lifetime. And so are the experiences of comraderie that evolve from the games themselves.
There are rules and expectations when people play games. But there is also the notion, perhaps experienced for the first time, that each player matters to the effectiveness of the team's play. From the best player to the last player on the 'bench' or the player who looks after the equipment, everyone is part of something larger than him/herself. And that sheds light through a crack in the poverty, disease, AIDS, and even violence and loneliness that are the larger part of the life of each child in third world countries.
Methodology (From Right to Play website)
Right To Play’s ultimate programming goal is this: Encouraging behavior change. This complex process involves more than simple knowledge and awareness building. It involves adopting and maintaining behaviors and attitudes such as self-esteem, resisting peer pressure, problem-solving and building a capacity for communication.
Right To Play improves health, teaches basic life skills and helps children and youth to develop skills to resolve conflict peacefully in some of the most disadvantaged areas in the world. Role models, family, Coaches, teachers, peers and our Athlete Ambassadors all play an important role in helping people adopt new behaviors. Through sport and play, they learn about team work, co-operation and respect – the best values of sport.

Here is what Stephen Lewis has to say about Right To Play:
Kids love to play, particularly orphaned children,” he adds. “It helps compensate for loss. It’s a way of sublimating grief. They do it through play. If, in the course of all that, we’re preventing them from getting the disease that killed their parents, then there’s a lovely symmetry to that.” - Stephen Lewis (from the Right to Play website)
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