Right To Play's COVID-19 Response
The COVID-19 virus had a significant impact on communities around the world, including those which Right To Play serves. During the pandemic, 91% of the word’s student population was out of school. The children we work with are some of the most vulnerable and are particularly susceptible to the effects of a crisis like this one. It is vital that we continue to be there for them now and in the future.
With your support during the Pandemic, Right To Play was able to:
- Share valuable updates through radio and television ads, reaching millions of families around Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
- Deliver customized play-to-learn-at-home packets for families to encourage free play, conflict resolution and health and well-being.
- Engage local governments and community leaders to create and disseminate child-friendly information through door-to-door communications and PSAs.
Time and again, our global supporter community have come together to show their solidarity with children who are living in some of the most challenging circumstances. You can help us ensure that these children are protected for the next crisis, that they are not marginalized further as a result, and they have access to an education when the crisis is resolved.
Children’s education was interrupted, protective structures disrupted, and their families and communities placed under stress by health and economic burdens.
The following are key areas of concern for the children we serve:
- Neglect and maltreatment due to limited childcare options and the heightened risk of psychological distress or illness among caregivers.
- Increased incidences of violence including domestic violence, corporal punishment, sex exploitation and child marriage, due to school closures, persistent gender norms/inequalities and lack of access to basic services.
- Psychosocial distress due to isolation measures, illness or death in the family.
- Interrupted learning, children are deprived from in-school learning and opportunities including social contact that is essential to their development.
- Dangerous, exploitative work due to the loss of family support, care and household income
- Stigmatization and exclusion due to discrimination relating to the virus of the disproportionate impact of secondary risks on already marginalized children and families.
Right To Play had a critical part to play in keeping children safe and healthy through this crisis. For 20 years we have used the power of sport and play to teach children how to protect themselves from disease and illness and how to stay both mentally and physically healthy. We applied what we have learned over the years, in particular our learnings from the Ebola outbreak in Liberia in 2014, to give children critical knowledge to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe. Check out our webinar with field and executive leadership from Right To Play and The LEGO Foundation to learn more, below.
In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, the team at Right To Play acted quickly to modify our approach and adapt to the changing realities on the ground.
In just a few weeks, we were able to adjust our repository of life skills games, materials and resources as well as our delivery method while children are out of school. As a result, thousands of children participated in Right To Play-led preventative handwashing activities, gained remote access to critical lessons on social distancing, conflict resolution, literacy and numeracy to name a few. Our work also proactively involves developing and implementing measurement and evaluation measures from the outset so we can assess the outcomes of our modified approach and ensure greater impact.
- Keep Children Safe and Healthy
- Keep Children Learning
- Keep Children Mentally Strong
Right To Play implemented a plan to urgently respond to the needs of children with three focuses during quarantine, and we also mapped out which services and material needs are being supported by organizations and what local communities might be lacking. This allowed field staff to advocate on behalf of families who need these services to ensure they have adequate access to vital hygiene products, food and medicine.
Research shows that structured play, when effectively applied, can facilitate healing and develop life skills.
To view the webinar in its entirety, click here.
The worst health crisis of a generation is challenging the world.
We must do all we can to support program countries through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
We will work to ensure the world’s most vulnerable children and young people get the support they need, but to do this we need your help.
For Right To Play, educating children on how to stay safe and healthy is not new. In fact, it is one of our core beliefs and strategies and will help protect whole communities.
During these tough times, we are leaning on you to help us just as millions of children are leaning on us. Your gift will save lives.