Play is a fundamental aspect to learning through which children develop the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and creative skills needed to build the foundation for human development and lifelong learning.
Educate a Child in Africa (ECA) used its “Play and Learn” initiative to educate children about their inherent rights as stipulated by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. On the 9th of May 2015, forty children from the Cassava Farm community of the Limbe I municipality learned about their rights through fun game activities. Prior to the event, an Educate a Child in Africa team went into the neighborhood to mobilize children by verbally asking their parents’ permission to be part of the event.
The day of the event was historic to most of the children who had never been into an office. As they walked into the conference hall of Educate a Child in Africa, one could see expectation and curiosity on their smiling faces. The different key rights were written on square-shaped cardboard papers and bound by a ribbon. The program practically entailed that a child identifies and hold up a right, another explains what it says while one or more step out and act the message conveyed by the right.
For over an hour, coordinated by Educate a Child in Africa’s Arrah Blessing, the children all participated to learn their rights through games and short sketches. The children animated on rights inter alia right to birth registration, right to education and to play and right to freedom of expression. At the end of the activity, they were clearly excited about what they had learned and when asked whether it was good, they chorused a “yes”. They left the office holding tight to a souvenir of different rights given to them by Educate a Child in Africa. They did not only feel empowered but important too and their joy was obvious.
Through play the children were able to express themselves verbally and through action. The full potential of a child is developed through play and learn. In the course of the activity, the Educate a Child in Africa team could easily identify children that can act well, children who are extremely bold and express themselves in every circumstance and others who are shy and prefer to speak when it is absolutely necessary.
The children were excited to learn more. They wanted to know about the world beyond them. For example the use of an office and the function of a computer. It is worth pointing out that the parents of these children yearn for more of such activities judging from their regular visits to the office of Educate a Child in Africa.