Physical exercise, practise in team play and participation in competition brings structure to the children’s hazardous day. But much more than that, sport is a crucial component in the physical and mental development of children and it contributes to better learning abilities. Through sports they also learn important life skills, values and qualities such as fairness, cooperation, teamwork, sharing, respect and motivation. Particularly for children who have experienced so much neglect, hardship, misfortune and hopelessness, sport brings the benefits of increased self-confidence and a positive “fighting spirit”. This spreads far beyond the sport itself; such empowerment changes lives! It helps to unlock their concealed energies and potential – physically, spiritually, and mentally and opens up a dynamic life of real hope, freeing them from a downward spiral of despair and resignation.
In three of our project locations, two in Yangon Region and one in Delta Region, we offer regular sports training to over 300 children per year. This includes the provision of sports trainers (in football and volleyball), sports fields and sports material. The regular training and commitment to a team gives them new spirit and physical self esteem. Once a year a public SSO sports event is taking place; bringing together the children of all project sites.
The children in our daycare centers are practicing sports within their curriculum, such as dance, badminton or ballgames. Through volunteering trainers some children can also join weekly football training.
Creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development
Similar to physical exercise, practicing arts brings multiple benefits for children’s individual development and well-being. Learning to create something with their own ideas not only increases creativity but also aesthetical appreciation and the ability to see things in different ways or from different perspectives. It encourages children to gain inventiveness by expressing themselves and taking decisions on creating art. There are many more benefits, such as, painting and drawing provides opportunities to develop fine motor skills to young kids.
Our daycare centre curriculum includes handicraft training, which teaches the children to create small and simple things out of e.g. plastic or recycle material. Once a week two artists are visiting each of our day care centers to teach the kids professional painting and drawing. This program not only shows that the children are ecperiencing a good distraction from their difficult daily lives but also many children demonstrate great talents and ambitions.