On the occasion of the World Play Day on the 28th May, Terre des Hommes wants to highlight the benefits of using play and sport in children’s development. These activities promote the creative potential of children, facilitate the learning in school and strengthen the personal development.

By playing, boys and girls develop social competences, learn how to make contacts, develop rules for living together and take on responsibility. Sport and play contribute to reach classical development goals like health, education or gender equality.

Playing is also a crucial part of the projects for refugee children that Terre des Hommes is implementing in Germany. These projects are mainly about the promotion of integration and to help boys and girls to cope with their traumatic experiences.

“Playing can build bridges between different cultures. Communication often works without words. Children from different countries are literally able to understand foreign cultures and to discover something new as well as commonalities by playing” explains Claudia Berker, Terre des Hommes thematic expert on the right to play.

Therefore, we advocated for years, together with our partner organisations in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Germany, in a number of ways for the implementation of the right of the child to play. To play freely without a specified purpose is as important as organised play and sport, which conveys topics like team spirit or a healthy lifestyle.”

The United Nations Convention on the rights of the child promotes the “right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child”.

The World Play Day

On the occasion of the World Play Day, Terre des Hommes partner organisations are organising activities in India, Brazil, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Germany.

This year’s theme is “Playing for all Ages”: in Zimbabwe, grandmothers were invited to play games of their childhood with their grandchildren. In the city centre of Johannesburg in South Africa, parts of a street were transformed to a playground for young and elderly. A refugee initiative supported by Terre des Hommes in the area of Osnabrück will organise an entertaining game afternoon for children.

Discover the “Right to play” project in India supported by Terre des Hommes: