Right to Play is an international organisation founded by Johann Olav Koss, former Olympic gold medallist, in the year 2000. The aim of the organisation is to provide vulnerable or disadvantaged children with education delivered through games and sports. Each of the 15 countries that Right to Play operates in brings a unique set of challenges, from dealing with dire conditions in refugee camps to a need for health education or female empowerment.
Through the power of play, Right to Play programmes empower, educate and protect children and help to create a more positive outlook for the future. The embedded PDF looks at the meaning of learning through play.
Ragnar Horn is a long-time supporter of the Right to Play organisation and has personally visited programmes in Uganda and Tanzania, as well being a member of the Global Leadership Council. Right to Play creates play programmes for change across five key areas.
Right to Play programmes deliver a quality education to disadvantaged and vulnerable children by harnessing the power of play. Play-based learning can help to foster a life-long passion for learning in children, helping them discover the world through a series of fun games and sports. Teachers on the programme are trained to create learning environments that are engaging, supportive and fun, making a safe space that gives children the freedom to learn. By harnessing the power of play, the programmes encourage children to stay in school and enjoy their education, as well as building on vital life skills such as teamwork and cooperation, courage and self-confidence.
One of the issues affecting many children in the areas where Right to Play works is a lack of gender equality. Many girls on the programmes might otherwise be denied an education and face issues such as child marriage and female circumcision. Right to Play works to give these girls a voice, which they can then use to claim their right to safety, dignity, equality and a good education. Education on gender equality is also provided to parents and teachers, supporting caregivers in the fight to reduce discrimination and gender-based violence both within the classroom and across the wider communities.
Health and Well-Being
Many of the health issues faced by children in the areas where Right to Play works can be avoided when those children are equipped with the knowledge about how to stay safe and protect themselves. Education through play teaches children about how to protect themselves from a variety of health issues, such as sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and AIDS, malaria and hygiene-related illness. Children are also taught through games about reproductive health and empowered to rise above stigmas and prevent the spread of misinformation.
Children attending Right to Play programmes are taught through games how to better protect themselves and their peers from issues such as exploitation, discrimination and violence. The learning environments created are safe and supportive and children are encouraged to discuss issues that may be affecting or worrying them, including child labour, early marriage or harmful traditions within the community, such as female genital mutilation. A definition of harmful child labour can be found in the short video attachment.
Several of the regions where Right to Play works have experienced or are experiencing conflict and war, and a lot of the work takes place in refugee camps with children who have fled conflict. Children are taught collaboration, inclusion and tolerance, to both help with the healing process and create a more peaceful future. Some of the statistics for the global refugee crisis can be viewed in the embedded infographic.
Ragnar Horn is the chairman of the Norwegian private investment company Taconic AS. Born in Norway, Horn moved to America to study for his BA in Economics at Williams College in Massachusetts, going on to complete his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Harvard Business School.
Previous to his position at Taconic AS, Horn was the Chairman of RS Platou ASA – the shipbrokerage company that his grandfather founded in the 1930s – as well as having gained experience in investment banking at Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse First Boston.