Children living in orphanages, institutions and extreme poverty are ignored by their local communities, face gender and class discrimination and live isolated lives. They are very often deprived of play and nurturing connections with adults and mentors. The current body of research conducted on play deprivation for institutionalized or profoundly marginalized children points to negative outcomes in mental health, social connections, and physical development.
Sport and play activities can have a stabilizing impact on vulnerable children through supporting and encouraging resilience. Resilience being the ability to adapt and thrive in difficult circumstances. This project supports resilience by giving vulnerable girls opportunities to develop social and problem solving skills, to learn to express emotions and gain self-confidence, to connect with positive role models, and to have fun and experience the challenge and exhilaration of playing a sport.
Children in orphanages or in extreme poverty eventually transition into the community without the safety provided by a family or a nurturing relationship with an adult. They often become sex workers, child brides or domestic slaves. In the long term, this project creates new, invaluable and lasting connections to mentors, coaches, champions and friends which lead to healthy activities, positive paths, safe environments and a hopeful future for 80 vulnerable girls.