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The Social Centres take part in the Week devoted to games with the pupils

12/06/2011: Brazil

Educators are unanimous in saying that play is the one of the principal forms of expression for children. So, guaranteeing space and time for them to play with friends, parents or by themselves, is an essential condition for their development. It was in support of the right of children to play that the International Marist Solidarity Network organized a series of activities for the World Game Week (22-28 May 2011).

The Marist Solidarity Network of the Province of « Brasil Centro-Sul » conducts  Social Units in the States of  Paraná, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul and in the Federal District. Nine of them work in Education at Nursery School level and look after 982 children from zero to six years old in the Social Centres of Itaquera, Ir. Justino and Robru, in São Paulo; Lar Feliz, in Santos; Santa Mônica, in Ponta Grossa; Educacional Marista, in Curitiba; Champagnat, in Cascavel; Ir. Rivat, in Sambaia, Federal District and  ProAção (Programa de Ação Comunitária e Ambiental) Irmã Eunice Benato, also in Curitiba.

During the World Play Week, the Network launched the campaign « Right to Play », seen through to a successful conclusion with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The campaign programmed ten initiatives to promote the right to play, such as « playing is not a waste of time », « play teaches respect for others » and « play allows children to express their imagination and creativity ».

According to the Marist vision of education and formation of citizens, games stimulate children’s creativity and contribute to integral development. The legitimate time for play is directly linked to childhood, the time in life whenfantasy, « storytelling » and  « once upon a time » reinforce one another. The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Children (approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 1959), art. 31, underlines the right to play at the same time as the right to education: « The member states recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to be free to play and take part in recreational activities appropriate to his age, and to participate freely in cultural and artistic life.”

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