Saturday, 20 June 2020 11:20

Hana Al-Khalidi, Project Officer Right to Play Jordan

Two years ago we started our programme in Jordan, linking with Right to Play Jordan to introduce cricket into schools via their ‘StrengthenIng our Schools‘ programme.

The educational programme, which is approved by the Jordanian authorities, sought to develop schools in the country and provide teachers with the skills to run fun educational based games for both the local Jordan and refugee children attending. Over 5,000 children and young people have benefited from the programme, of which over half were girls. We work closely with our colleagues at Right to Play Jordan, and it seemed only fitting to introduce you to the ‘Mother of Cricket’ in Jordan:

I am Hana Al-Khalidi, and I am a Project Officer for Right to Play.

At Right to Play (RTP) Jordan, we use play to promote child rights and protection. RTP programmes focus on two fundamental components; Education and Sport for Development. For the Education Projects, RTP trains teachers to use modern teaching techniques to educate generations of leaders, with a special focus on girls. For the Sport for Development projects, we train local community leaders as coaches and sport teachers to deliver programmes, focusing on enhancing life and sport skills. For most of the projects, we rehabilitate the school environments, promote safety and a sense of belonging to create a positive and effective learning environment.

Sport has an important role to play as a tool for integration and to improve the lives of refugees. Many of our programmes incorporate sport as a mechanism for improving social bonds and peace between refugees and their host communities. Sport has also proven to help improve mental health after war and displacement-related trauma. This is a particularly useful tool to help youth and children stay healthy, build bonds with teammates and coaches, and to help restore a sense of normality after displacement.

Cricket improves speed, agility, flexibility, and reflexes. It increases concentration, the ability to think strategically and to utilise decision-making skills. Cricket also, unlike what children are exposed to in most American sports, prizes sportsmanship, fair play, self-control, and integrity. Respect for others is central to the game of cricket. Many children who are reluctant to take part in team sports find themselves well suited to cricket. This is because it offers opportunities for students to get social, make friends and practice working within a team. The experience can improve student cooperation and communication skills. If expertise in cricket from other developed countries can be asked to come and deliver their expertise in Jordan. This will be helpful in training students to leverage their skills in cricket.

The recent closure of schools in Jordan, which was done in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19, affected students’ learning. Accordingly that caused some delays in delivering our programmes as planned. As RTP always focuses on raising social skills through games, we tried to keep the sustainability of our goals. Therefore, as teaching was moving to online learning by the Jordanian Ministry of Education, RTP launched many online campaigns focusing on raising social and soft skills through online videos for children at home. We also provided the Ministry Of Education with sport and educational videos to use them on their platforms.





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