Giving children their right to play

We can all remember playing as a child, and even now most of our student life is focused around playing, whether a sport, an instrument or just playing about.  November marked the 20th anniversary of the UN convention that recognises every child has a ‘Right To Play’.  Put simply, this right is important not just because it guarantees a child’s right to be carefree whilst they grow up, but more crucially because play is central to a child’s physical, social, and mental development.

Right To Play is an international humanitarian organisation whose work is focused on giving children in developing areas of the world this very right.  Not only are children in areas ravaged by war, poverty and disease given their chance to play, they are also educated about the problems they are experiencing whilst they do so.  Play is therefore both a development tool in its own right, and a vehicle for delivering a curriculum that teaches them about peaceful conflict resolution, health promotion and social inclusion in a way they can enjoy and engage with. 750,000 children every week currently enjoy receiving all these benefits on Right To Play’s programmes. However this not an article for you to just read and perhaps nod along to – it is a plea for you to do something.

Right To Play is the official charity of BUCS and we work really closely with students across the UK.  We are extremely proud of this and the fact that last year through our collective efforts we managed to give over 8000 children their right to play.  I am a Student Ambassador for Right To Play along with Ben Parfitt and we would love for you to get involved with Right To Play in 2010. Already in the pipeline we have a Continuous Cycle around campus, a lecture about the work of Right to Play in developing countries and lots of other events that we would like to have your help and support with:

  • ‘your change can make change’ – just £25 can give a child a year’s worth of regular, twice weekly, participation in RTP activities.  And with a UK-wide network we can really make a difference
  • ‘together we are many’
  • You can help Right To Play achieve its mission to reach 1 million by 2012.

Last year we raised £8000 for Right To Play through fundraisers; like the Women’s Rugby Touch-a-thon, Basketball 3 on 3, the RAG triathlon and the Colours Ball Raffle. We also took part in sponsored events; I myself took part, along with six other participants from Holloway, in the Edinburgh to London Cycle this summer and Ben, with some friends, ran in the London Parks Half Marathon. This year we hope increase our efforts and raise over £10,000 this year with your help.

So why not get involved with the exciting things that will be happening at Holloway or join us in July for our London to Antwerp bike ride, where we’ll watch the Tour De France!

For more information about what is going on at Holloway join the Facebook Group; Right to Play – RHUL or email me Grace Shaw at for information about what we are doing here at Holloway, and how you can help or get organising yourself.

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