Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

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We noticed you were looking to sponsor a community. Your support will not only change the life of a child, but an entire community.

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Last time you were here, you were looking to help vulnerable children and families. Your support can save and change lives.

Sport for Development is a powerful and proven way to facilitate change for disadvantaged youth in developing communities who face significant challenges around poverty and inequality.

Programs like ChildFund Pass It Back provide children and young people with important learning opportunities, as well as the chance to take part in organised sport, in many cases for the very first time.

So let’s take this opportunity to reflect on how sport for development programs help vulnerable children and youth grow into empowered, confident and healthy adults.

Sport for Development promotes diversity and inclusion

Sport for development programs promote diversity and inclusion by:

1. Bringing people together from all walks of life. All races, religions, genders and cultures are unified by a common passion: their love of the game.

2. Providing shared experiences, and creating a space where players, coaches, families and communities feel a sense of belonging.

3. Connecting people within and across borders, creating relationships between disparate social groups and building more inclusive communities.

4. Challenging prejudicial attitudes and breaking gender barriers.

5. Uniting players and fans around a common set of values, which drives positive behaviours both on the off the field.

6. Providing opportunities for children and young people to participate in their local, regional, national and international community.

Working as a team helps to break down barriers of exclusion, reduces inequality, and builds stronger communities for young people over time.

Sport for Development creates leaders

Sport for Development programs transform children into future leaders by:

1. Connecting youth and children with local leaders and decision-makers.

2. Empowering children and transforming them into role models for friends and family.

3. Creating new role models for women and girls in the community by facilitating positive shifts in gender norms.

4. Teaching children the value of teamwork, and how to be respected as a leader.

5. Motivating children to set goals, plan for the future, and challenge themselves.

6. Providing the opportunity for children to connect with each other, and develop relationships that can create positive change in the community.

Children develop leadership skills that they can take back to their homes and communities, helping them become positive vehicles of change.

Sport for Development teaches life skills

ChildFund Pass It Back is a program which provides children with coaches from their own communities; role models who teach valuable life skills:

1. Increased confidence in their own abilities.

2. The value of teamwork, and setting goals as a group.

3. How to manage conflict both on an off the field.

4. Improved concentration and focus.

5. The importance of rules, and respect for others.

6. How children can equip themselves with a sense of self-discipline..

7. The value of becoming an effective communicators.

Through sport for development programs, young people from marginalised communities are given life-long, skills and knowledge to take with them into their adult futures.

Sport for Development improves children’s wellbeing

Sport for development programs provide children with regular physical activity, improving their overall health by:

1. Developing healthy bones, muscles and joints.

2. Improving heart and lung function.

3. Improving balance, coordination and posture.

4. Helping prevent chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

5. Providing an emotional outlet, helping to relieve stress and anxiety.

6. Facilitating social interaction in a positive environment, which provides enjoyment.

Children have plenty to gain from participating in sport for development programs, particularly in terms of the benefits to their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Facilitating change with Sport for Development programs

As you can see, young people from all communities have a lot to gain from participating in programs that use Sport for Development to provide important learning opportunities.

By encouraging children to be active participants in their communities, creating new role models, and teaching valuable life skills, sport for development programs can transform young people into leaders of the future.

Want to help more children have the opportunity to learn, play and grow? Consider supporting ChildFund Pass It Back, a sport for development program operating in countries including Laos,  The Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

It’s your generosity that keeps the program going, and we’d love to expand into more communities and countries, bringing the power sport to even more disadvantaged children across Asia.

Today marks the official start of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

ChildFund is honoured to be World Rugby’s principal charity partner for the event and deeply appreciative of the support given by the global rugby family, and the attention being drawn to children’s needs in the region.

As one of the world’s biggest and most widely viewed sporting events, Rugby World Cup 2019 will generate massive interest, showcase elite athletes and present some of the world’s very best teams.

It will also be a reminder of the importance of children’s right to play and the transformative power that sport can have in the lives of children and young people – particularly those facing significant challenges.

In this 30th anniversary year of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is clear that far too many children still lack the rights and protections they need to survive and thrive. Many children live with disadvantage and widening inequality.

The work of ChildFund and others – especially the initiative of community members themselves – is vital in giving children education, healthcare, protection and opportunity.

Sport for development is one proven way to facilitate change for disadvantaged youth in developing communities.

Through the unique and innovative partnership between World Rugby, Asia Rugby and ChildFund, children and young people are gaining important learning opportunities as well as the chance to take part in organised sport, often for the very first time.

Today, the ChildFund Pass It Back program has over 10,000 registered players and 500 coaches in four countries. It also has a 50% female participation rate, and evaluations point to its effectiveness in driving change in local communities.

Girls from poor households at risk of child marriage are discovering new aspirations for themselves as peer support counsellors, small business leaders and teachers of the future.

Boys forced to drop out from school are re-building their confidence and setting up new livelihood opportunities.

In Asia, a continent home to 60% of the world’s youth, ChildFund Pass It Back is helping build a new generation of leaders.

Tonight, as rugby fans everywhere celebrate the first day of Rugby World Cup 2019,  there is also reason to cheer for this unique opportunity that will ‘pass it back’ and give more children the chance to play, learn and grow.

ChildFund Australia would like to acknowledge the long-term support provided to ChildFund Pass It Back by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs. The Australian Aid program has allowed us to share the transformative benefits of sport with thousands of children living in disadvantaged communities in Asia.