In celebration of the International Day of Peace, Right To Play worked with Play Soccer International and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency Education Department to host the Global Peace Games for children around the world, including those in the Middle East.
In Deir Amar refugee camp near Ramallah, Palestinian Territories, an excited and enthusiastic group of 265 children from six UNRWA schools -- four of which were girls schools -- participated in the celebration. Activities included male and female football tournaments, Play Day activities, and a foot race. An awareness session was also held for 35 parents on the importance of sport and play for children, particularly girls.
Children got an opportunity to sign a Peace Manifesto supporting the improvement of human life and promoting the values of peace, following a discussion with UNRWA Area Education Officer and RTP team.
Two football tournaments were held for both boys and girls, giving all participants -- regardless of their gender -- a chance to play, while instilling teamwork, cooperation respect, and leadership in them.
“As a girl, I got the same opportunity to play and participate in the same Right To Play activities as the boys,” said one participant.
While a foot race for 100 participants was being run, the remaining children took part in Play Day games focusing on important life skills such as fair play, respect and positive participation.
Football for Peace
In Beirut and Northern Lebanon, Right To Play celebrated the Global Peace Games with football tournaments for 80 kids aged 10 to 13 to promote similar messages of peace.
Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian children from six football teams gathered in Beirut to play a unique game of football that aimed to change their perception of winning; rather than solely relying on scoring goals, participants had to demonstrate values like fair play, respect, and gender equality to succeed in the matches.
"It's not the final score that is important," football coach Majdi Majzoub said. "What matters most are the messages learned during this tournament, from developing sportsmanship to building peace."