We believe acceptance, understanding and respect are imperative to building a peaceful community. And when these life-changing behaviours are taught through games, activities and sports, the outcome is powerful.
University students and Right To Play Youth Leaders, Salem and Taleen agree.
“Learning how to use sport to lead children was new to me,” says Salem. “It was an innovative approach, not the same traditional way, and the training enhanced my efficiency and confidence.”
Four years ago, he and Taleen participated in our Youth As Leaders pilot program, an initiative and partnership with the First Ramallah Group in the Palestinian Territories. The leadership training provided the then 14-year-olds with a safe and a supportive environment to learn proactive ways to communicate with their peers.
“Working within a team developed my communication skills so I can better serve other children,” says Salem. “It helped me identify and address issues related to our lives and find methods to solve them.”
Through the repetition of our games, Salem and Taleen learned how to create positive experiences for themselves and others, bolster hope and their ability to set goals, and how to settle their differences, peacefully.
“In the beginning, we thought the training would be like any other leadership training we had attended before, but surprisingly it was entirely different,” says Salem. “It was interesting and fun; we discussed, played and enjoyed our time.”
Salem and Taleen maintain their leadership status within their community and are committed to using Right To Play’s methodologies. They are active role models, positively influencing children, as well as their families and friends.
“The training activities help me be a better leader in my organization. I adopt Right To Play’s approach and methodology as a platform for all my activities,” says Taleen, who uses her training manuals to plan, implement and evaluate all of her activities. “It helps me design and set goals for each session I have with the children, so I can concentrate on their challenges and how to solve them. Without the techniques I have gained through Right To Play’s training I wouldn’t be the successful leading coach I am today.”