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When Children Play, The World Wins: Sport as a Tool to Inform, Educate, & Empower Communities

by Mario A.

Right To Play, an international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. It recently organized an international exchange between Jordanians and Americans, supported by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The exchange, which took place in New York City this past July, provided an opportunity for Right To Play’s Jordanian coaches to learn about American coaching methodologies and Sport for Development techniques that they could use to improve the health and lives of children back home in Jordan. The first exchange took place in Aqaba, Jordan, with Right To Play American Athlete Ambassadors, and provided them with the opportunity to learn about the programs and culture of the people working with Right To Play projects in Jordan.

Right To Play’s programming is rooted in the recognition that physical activity can positively impact the health and well-being of children and youth by preventing and delaying the onset of non-communicable diseases, and improving young people’s mental, emotional and psycho-social well-being.

Throughout the exchange program, the Jordanian coaches were joined by several Right To Play Athlete Ambassadors who volunteer their time and effort to support the Right To Play programs around the world. The Jordanian coaches got the opportunity to partner with Kids Creative, a local not-for-profit organization that offers education and other programs to youth, and share general and personal observations on how the universal appeal of sport makes it an ideal vehicle to inform, educate and empower entire communities to fight communicable diseases and promote holistic life-long approaches to health. In addition to the sharing of information, the Jordanian coaches observed the types of games the Kids Creative counselors played with the children as well as lead their own sport and play programs with them.

 For more information about Right to Play visit: www.RightToPlay.com

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