Kids given a chance to play the traditional way

Youth organisation Christian Youth Volunteers’ Association Trust (CYVAT) has joined forces with other groups to create play-spaces for vulnerable children in rural areas and high-density suburbs.

Playtime and porridge time for vulnerable children in rural areas and high-density suburbs.
Playtime and porridge time for vulnerable children in rural areas and high-density suburbs.

The Chance to Play programme promotes sports and traditional games.

CYVAT is partnering with the Midlands Aids Service Organisation, Child Protection Society and Love Child Trust, among others. Play centres have already been set up in Bulawayo, Chegutu, Binga and Maphisa district in Matabeleland South.

“This programme aims to change young lives by children skills to escape poverty and fulfil their dreams,” said Meck Sibanda, CYVAT’s director.

The organisation has hired instructors to teach games such as nhodo and tsoro, and has secured playing facilities and materials.

“This sports development project targets boys and girls, but we have a particular interest in getting girls to play,” he said.

Sibanda said his organisation was also working with e’Pap Zimbabwe in addressing “hidden hunger” among children. After play sessions, children are given free packs of the porridge-like e’ Pap.

The Chance to Play concept started in South Africa in 2008 during the World Cup soccer tournament, and has since grown into an initiative that involves youth organisations in countries such as Mozambique, Zambia and Namibia.

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