Millions of children worldwide are dying from preventable causes. Through regular, health-focused play activities, we can give kids the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to stay healthy. Our Coaches are trained to create safe, supportive environments where kids can talk openly about the important health topics that affect them like HIV and AIDS, malaria, sexual and reproductive health, and hygiene.
Learning the truth about their health and the diseases that affect their communities empowers children to stand up against misinformation and negative stigmas. They develop respect for themselves and their bodies and practice tolerance and empathy towards others.
Hygiene and Sanitation: More than two million children are dying each year from preventable hygiene and sanitation-related causes, so an activity that teaches the importance of washing your hands properly through a relay race, will not only make kids smile, but just might save their lives.
Malaria: In a game of Mosquito Tag, children chased by "mosquitoes" have to stand in one place if they're tagged and act out the symptoms of malaria until a "doctor" can help them. Not only is it fun, it also teaches them how to recognize and react to the symptoms of a disease that is killing one child a minute in Africa.
HIV and AIDS: When it comes to more taboo topics like how HIV is spread and the importance of correct condom use, youth in our programs find a safe environment where games and Coach-led discussions can break the ice and open up life-saving conversations about sexual and reproductive health.
DAUGHTER KNOWS BEST
Aline Gnanhome knew her father Sébastien needed help.
The little girl saw him smoke two packs of cigarettes a day. She learned about the dangerous health effects of smoking through Right To Play games at school, which focused on healthy living and awareness.
An illiterate farmer from Yokpo, Benin, Sébastien is father to 13 children with three wives. Despite a large family to care for, he was spending more than $600 a year on a habit he considered necessity.
"When I found myself in any problems or concerns, and sometimes when I didn't feel well, I smoked and I found myself better and felt stronger," says the 37-year-old.
Realizing her father was not only hurting himself but also his family, Aline took action and decided to bring the health games she had learned at school home to her family. She led her brothers and sisters in activities like Passive Smoke, Riddle of Health and Healthy Choices. They played in front of their father regularly, in hopes of getting him to think about the consequences of his actions. When her father said nothing, Aline thought message had fallen on deaf ears.
Six months later, Sébastien quit smoking.
Needing time to reflect, her father decided that his daughter had done him a great service.
"I feel touched and I understand that it is for me understand the consequences of my actions against my health and that of my family," he admitted. "It is why I decided to never smoke [again]."
He's putting his money to good use, focusing his funds on education for his children.
"I am very happy that my dad has stopped smoking," says Aline.