A Non Governmental Organization, Right To Play-Sierra Leone, on Saturday teamed up with its partners, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs and other children-focused organizations to commemorate the “Day of the African Child” with sport and play games for children nationwide.
To commemorate the day in a memorable way for children in Sierra Leone, Right To Play organized “Play Day” festivals in its project locations in the capital Freetown, Bo in the south, Kono in the east and Makeni in the north. All of these activities started with march-passes with “coaches”, staff and some of its partners clad in yellow T-shirts with “Right To Play” printed on the front.
In Freetown, the procession started from the Clock Tower, centre of town, unto the Victoria Park where statements where made before the children were given the opportunity to show some of Right To Play games which they had learnt in school from their teachers whom, in the organization’s jargon, are called “coaches.”
Throughout the morning unto late afternoon, the children held their parents, guardians and passers-by spellbound as they exhibited their knowledge about HIV and AIDS issues during debriefing sessions after playing each game.
One woman remarked: “Since the end of the rebel war about five years ago, this organization [Right To Play] has come up with programmes which are making our children happy. It has been a long time some of us have seen our children so happy and learning vital health skills through games. I think this organization’s games should be included in the curricula of our schools.”
In Bo, our southern correspondent said primary and secondary school children marched through the main streets unto the Coronation Field where similar games like that of Freetown took place.
“The reason why we joined our partners and government line ministries in commemorating this Day [of the African Child] countrywide is because we want to reach more children with our well designed sport and play programmes. Through our programmes, children are being taught life and leadership skills… they also get health messages that would be of benefit to them for the future… [and] we expect to reach approximately 40,000 children this year with our programmes,” said Prince Cummings, the Country Manager of Right To Play who was in Bo over the weekend to witness and take part in the commemoration.
Meanwhile Right To Play, whose vision is to create a healthier and safer world through the power of sport and play, carried out similar activities in Kono and Makeni.