Right To Play’s programs employ a unique proprietary methodology which uses sport and play to improve health, teach basic life skills, and develop peace and conflict resolution abilities for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas in the world. Through our sport and play activities, children also learn about team work, cooperation and respect – the best values of sport.
INTEGRATING LOCAL CULTURES AND PROMOTING RESILIENCY
When designing programs, Right To Play first completes a thorough assessment to understand both the needs and assets of the community. The next stage involves a gap analysis of existing programs and initiatives. Each program is then tailored to both fit the needs and leverage the resources of the community in consultation with expert educators, local partners, and community members including parents and children.
THEORY OF BEHAVIOUR CHANGE
The ultimate goal of Right To Play programming is to foster behavior change, a complex process involving more than simply building knowledge and awareness.
Behaviour change involves acquiring skills to adopt and maintain behaviours and attitudes such as self-esteem, resistance to peer pressure, ability to problem-solve and a capacity for communication. Right To Play’s methodology ensures that both children and communities are able to put into practice the skills and attitudes learned through our programs. Our innovative methodology is founded on a unique understanding of social learning theory and child development needs.
KEY FACTORS IN BEHAVIOUR CHANGE
Creating and maintaining supportive environments. Role models, family, Coaches, teachers, peers and Right To Play Athlete Ambassadors play an important role in helping people adopt new behaviours.
Developing essential life skills. These skills include the ability to manage stress, resist peer pressure, communicate assertively, make decisions, set goals, motivate and lead others.
Engaging in repetitive activities. This allows children and youth the opportunity to practice skills, knowledge, and attitudes that contribute to change.
Adopting healthy attitudes. Self-esteem and confidence, hope and optimism, empathy and compassion, and motivation.
Acquiring knowledge about the issues. Such as facts about HIV and AIDS, risk reduction behaviours, impacts of stigma, etc.
A STRATEGY FOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
A key aspect of Right To Play’s Coach training workshops is the Experiential Learning Cycle methodology. During each session, trainers and leaders introduce and reinforce the key messages of each activity in opening and closing discussions.
Specifically, Reflect-Connect-Apply is a teaching/learning strategy that guides learners through a three-step processing of their experience:
- Reflect - The learner considers: What did I just experience? Young children are taught the vocabulary to share their ideas and feelings and to respect the ideas and feelings of their peers.
- Connect - The learner considers: How does this experience relate to earlier ones? How does it connect to what I already know, believe or feel? Does it reinforce or expand my view?
- Apply - The learner considers: How can I use what I have learned from this experience? How can I use it in similar situations? How can I use this learning to benefit myself, my community?
A DELIVERY MODEL THAT BUILDS LOCAL CAPACITY AND SUSTAINABILITYTo ensure quality implementation of our programs, Right To Play has developed a delivery model with the objective of local capacity building. The model is based on having clearly defined roles and responsibilities at each level of leadership and allows for both staff and volunteer positions. This can be easily adapted to each specific project.
As illustrated in the diagram, our delivery model involves each level acting as mentors and teachers to the level directly below. Right To Play trains local community members who volunteer to be Coach/Teachers and to run our programs. These Coaches become positive role models and develop life and job skills that create the foundations for individual and community leadership.
These Leaders provide structured and supportive learning opportunities through sport and play. Project Coordinators (PC), for example, are responsible for the skills and leadership training of the Supervisors at the next level, who in turn are responsible for Coach Trainers and so on.
This structure greatly contributes to our ability to retain and develop both staff and volunteers, while continuing to motivate all participants. This model allows us to:
- Reach a large number of children
- Emphasize regular activities
- Ensure quality programs
- Monitor participation
BUILDING SUSTAINABILITY BY INVESTING IN PARTNERSHIPS
Right To Play’s approach to programming goes beyond individual capacity-building to include investments in partnerships. By collaborating with, and training dedicated community leaders such as teachers, early childhood educators, and staff from other local implementing NGOs or Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), Right To Play helps to ensure the appropriate localization of programs, the establishment of strong and lasting mentoring relationships, and the long-term sustainability of our work. Training local youth and adults as Coaches expands the reach of program activities and imparts valuable leadership skills to the next generation. This approach goes far beyond one-time training; Right To Play staff and volunteers make regular visits to support all local implementers on a monthly basis.
An important new phase of Right To Play’s partnering is our work with Ministries of Education. In 2007, Right To Play implemented a Special Initiative pilot in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, designed to allow for the development of new curricula for health and physical education in schools from kindergarten to grade 12. In 2008, we began piloting our first official nation-wide curriculum initiative in Benin with the Ministry of Education. This is a valuable way for Right To Play to integrate into local communities, and respond to the emerging need and demand for these partnerships.
Some of our partnering organizations:
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP)
- Juzoor Foundation – West Bank
- Refugee Welfare Council – Uganda
- Sport for Peace Foundation – Rwanda
- Afghan Institute of Learning – Pakistan
ADVOCATING FOR SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT POLICY WITH GOVERNMENTS WORLDWIDE
Right To Play also advocates globally for the use of sport as a tool to achieve diverse development objectives. We work diligently to engage government champions and political decision-makers in an effort to encourage the integration of sport and play into national and international development policies. These efforts contribute to the sustainability of our programs by ensuring political commitment to the principles of Sport for Development and Peace over the long term.
Right To Play is committed to every child’s right to play and we take an active role to facilitate research and promote advocacy in this area. Our aim is to engage and positively influence key decision-makers from the development, sport, business, media and government sectors to ensure every child benefits from the positive power of sport and play.