Lethbridge: Discovering the impact play has on children. Local Resident, Lori Harasem experienced this on a recent trip to Liberia with non-profit organization Right to Play. Harasem won the trip by voting in a online contest. For a week, she witnessed how the organization uses play to teach children in impoverished countries.
"Every single game or sports activity, afterwards the volunteer leaders debrief with the kids and every single thing has a purpose. It might be about teaching leadership, respect, or the risks of malaria. The program has been so successful , that at one point when Right to Play funding in Liberia was running out, the volunteers organized themselves and they weren't going to let it stop and they kept the program going" said Harasem
There are over 5 thousand volunteers involved in the Right to Play program.
"A lot of these parents have been so seriously affected by the Civil War that has been going on there, they don't necessarily have the skills to be parenting their kids in the way that we would expect. So these kids are learning, but it's not one or two kids learning, it's hundreds of kids in an area learning the same message. So, it's actually changing the mind set of the kids, teachers, and volunteers."
Harasem says she plans to continue volunteering with Right to Play.