November 19, 2014
To mark National Child Day and the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Equitas is pleased to announce that the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region, will be receiving the 2014 Play it Fair! Award in Ottawa on November 20. Every year, this award recognizes local innovation, creativity and exceptional contributions made in the field of children’s rights using Play it Fair!, an Equitas program that increases children’s understanding of human rights, respect of diversity and peaceful conflict resolution.
Since 2011, the team from the YMCA-YWCA NCR Ottawa has integrated Play it Fair! activities into Y Kids Club Before and After School programs, Child Youth and Family programs and licensed childcare centre programs in 10 Y centers throughout Ottawa. Over 500 children and more than 100 staff and volunteers come to play and learn to practice Play It Fair! games every day in recreational and licensed programs for children and youth
Y staff promote children’s rights and participation integrating Play it Fair! games into their daily curriculum. Children and staff are having fun, joining together to learn the values that Play It Fair! promotes which complement and help to reinforce the Y`s own values of honesty, caring, respect, responsibility and inclusiveness. Staff are also finding new and creative ways to use Play it Fair! to support their programming and organizational priorities. For example, in the after school program at Woodroffe United Church, staff use `The Laughing Game` activity as a relaxation activity, using it to teach the kids the power of laughter and how it can help get us through difficult moments. “After doing the activity, staff and children discuss how they felt before, during and after the activity and how it may have helped them forget their worries for at least a short time,” Explains Liz McGrath, Coordinator of the Before and After School Programs.
National Child Day
Celebrated in Canada since 1993, National Child Day commemorates the United Nations’ adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on November 20, 1989. The UNCRC, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, spells out the basic human rights to which all children under the age of 18 are entitled, including the right to health, the right to play and the right to participate and have a voice in matters that affect them.
Initiated in 2004, Play it Fair! has grown into a national program with more than 500 partners from Victoria to Newfoundland. More than 100,000 children participate in Play it Fair! activities across Canada each year. The Play it Fair! program is made possible thanks to the active participation of Equitas partners across Canada and the generous financial support of the TD Bank Group, United Way of the Lower Mainland (BC), The Air Canada Foundation, City of Montreal, the Ministère de l’immigration, de la diversité et de l’inclusion du Québec, and The MK Social Justice Fund at the Foundation of Greater Montreal.