Staff, students and parents of Creative Minds International Academy came out in their number to join the Global Network for Rights and Development, to make the 2015 “I HAVE RIGHT TO PLAY”. The project was conducted at the CMIA School Open Field, with two teams, consisting of 24 players participating in a football match. Trophies and medals were presented to participating teams. This was preceded by seminars and lectures in the School’s Assembly Hall. The themes of the sessions were “self-development” and “teambuilding”. The sessions were based on play-based learning through various sports and games to teach children skills and good life values in order to motivate them to the utmost. In maximize to the opportunity for children to enjoy participating, practicing and competing in sports in a safe and adequate environment, GNRD organized an official, all-day, transformational sports tournament. GNRD combined sports activities with ideologies of human rights and development in order to both support rights to play and educate children about their rights. The GNRD-RTP project promoted significant public awareness about children’s rights. These recent project launches have been cemented and will now multiply, as the project evolves into an international phenomenon.
Playing sport is a matter of learning, not winning or losing. There is no true victory without learning how to win gracefully and lose with dignity. But first and foremost, playing sport is a human right. In 1978, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) described the access and participation in sports and physical education as a “fundamental right for all” – this has been recognized in a number of international conventions. Thus, without equal rights to play, there can be no just champion of the world. In many places around the globe, children’s equal rights are ignored and disrespected due to the fact that they live in poor social and economic conditions. This translates into alarming statistics that reflect massive numbers of children who are robbed of their childhood – they are forced to work, while accesses to education, the ability to play and fully enjoy their childhood are their birthrights.
The Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) sheds clear light on these intolerable facts by establishing the “I Have a Right to Play” project (hereby abbreviated as GNRD-RTP). This project is a rights-based approach to development, first implemented in Sudan (Khartoum) and Ethiopia (Addis Ababa) late in 2013, then in the State of Palestine in July 2014. Several amateur football teams were prepared and categorized into two age groups (7-10 and 11-15). GNRD provided all necessary equipment and required technical support (uniforms, shoes, balls, stadiums, referees, medical team and professional coach) and conducted several friendly matches. Furthermore, GNRD’s team in Sudan established special implementation in the name of empowerment of girls where they got the opportunity to participate and compete in Volleyball. Therefore, GNRD gave vulnerable children the authentic opportunity to enjoy their right to play in a safe and adequate environment. T his initiative to reinforce children’s rights achieved attention from government departments, media and civil society organizations. The positive impact that GNRD made by establishing the project put into emphasis the necessity for international society to take responsibility and to ensure that these rights are fulfilled.