Right To Play is a global organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. It was founded in 2000 by Johann Olav Koss, a four-time Olympic gold medalist and social entrepreneur. Through sports and games, we help children build essential life skills and better futures, while driving social change in their communities with lasting impact.
WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO PLAY?
Right To Play promotes the involvement of all children and youth. We believe that the power of play can transform a child’s life. That’s why we are working in the most disadvantaged areas engaging girls, persons with disabilities, children affected by HIV and AIDS, street children, former child combatants and refugees.
WHY IS PLAY SO IMPORTANT?
The UN recognizes play as the right of every child. Play is not a luxury; it is a tool for education and health. It can bring entire communities together and inspire every individual. A game of football can teach children about tolerance and peace, a game of tag can teach about malaria. Play helps teach important life lessons and develop skills like cooperation, leadership and teamwork. Play provides a retreat from everyday hardships and brings joy and laughter, allowing kids to be kids.
WHERE ARE OUR PROGRAMS?
Right To Play operates programs in more than 20 countries including Benin, Burundi, Canada, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories (West Bank and Gaza), Peru, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand and Uganda.
DO WE PARTNER WITH OTHER LOCAL COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS?
Yes. Some of our programs are training and technical assistance focused, working with partner organizations in Bolivia, Colombia, Kenya, Norway, Panama, Peru and the United States where we train local organizations in Right To Play’s unique methodology to implement programs.
DO WE WORK WITH REFUGEES OR INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS?
Yes. Sometimes we work in a humanitarian context during a time of disaster or crisis; for example, we work with refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, and Internally Displaced Persons in Mali.
WHO HAVE WE REACHED?
Each year, we reach one million children in our regular weekly activities with the help of more than 13,500 volunteer Coaches. By the end of 2017 we have a goal of reaching two million children on a weekly basis.
WHEN WERE WE FOUNDED?
Johann Olav Koss, a four-time Olympic gold medalist and social entrepreneur, founded Right To Play in 2000. Right To Play evolved out of Olympic Aid, a fundraising organization that raised millions to help disadvantaged youth.
WHAT IS “SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE”?
Sport for Development programs embody the best values of sport and combine other non-sport components to enhance learning. These programs empower participants and communities and promote sustainability. Sport for Development represents the notion that sport is now recognized as a key tool in the development and pursuit of peace, most notably within the Millennium Development Goals.
WHAT IS AN ATHLETE AMBASSADOR?
Our Athlete Ambassadors serve as role models to inspire children through sport and play. They help us raise awareness and lend their voice to our cause. We are supported by an international network of professional and Olympic athletes from more than 40 countries.
DO ATHLETES DELIVER THE PROGRAMS?
No, Athlete Ambassadors do not deliver our programs. They visit our programs in order to inspire children and celebrate their successes and witness the impact of Right To Play’s work first-hand. These visits enable the children we work with to interact with the athletes as positive role models. Our Athlete Ambassadors also act as spokespeople to raise awareness for the cause.
HOW DO WE DELIVER OUR PROGRAMS?
Our programs are facilitated by more than 600 international staff and 13,500 volunteer Coaches. Coaches are local leaders and teachers who are trained in our specially designed programming. They implement the programs based on the needs of their communities. We also encourage leadership at all ages by providing youth with leadership opportunities. Junior Leaders, some as young as eight-years-old, become empowered through participating in Right To Play programs.
HOW ARE COACHES SUPPORTED?
Right To Play promotes the spirit of volunteerism. As such, Coaches are not financially compensated. However, they are compensated for expenses relating to projects, such as travel costs.
IS RIGHT TO PLAY INVOLVED IN POLICY WORK?
Yes. We take an active role in research, policy and advocacy work to engage leaders in development, sport, business and media, to ensure every child experiences the benefits of sport and play.
DOES RIGHT TO PLAY HAVE ANY POLITICAL OR RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATIONS?
We are a non-partisan organization and we partner with organizations that support the rights and beliefs of all individuals. On occasion, we may work with local faith-based organizations to implement our programs but this does not indicate support for, or association with, the organization’s religious affiliation. We do not work with political organizations.
DO WE ACCEPT EQUIPMENT DONATIONS?
We accept equipment donations on a case by case basis, due to the cost of shipping equipment and the resources required to distribute and manage such donations when they arrive. If you are interested in supporting us this way, please contact Right To Play Headquarters.
HOW WILL MY CONTRIBUTION BE SPENT?
Donations made to Right To Play are applied to the area of greatest need in the organization and go to our sport and play programs in disadvantaged areas around the world. This gives us the flexibility to channel our funds to countries where our needs are greatest.
HOW MUCH OF MY MONEY GOES TOWARDS RIGHT TO PLAY’S DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS?
An average of 85% of total worldwide expenses are spent implementing Right To Play’s programs benefiting children facing adversity. An average of 15% of total expenses goes towards administrative and fundraising expenditures. Right To Play’s audited financial statements are available to the public in our Annual Report.