Play is powerful.

Did you know all children have the right to play? It's declared in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child that all children have the right to food, water, a good standard of living — and play. It helps them develop physically and mentally, setting them up for an active and social life. Many children around the world can't access their right to play. Some don't have access to a clean spaces, or have enough time when they're forced to do domestic jobs.

In places where children are needed to fetch water, tend to crops, sell at markets, or care for younger siblings, playtime may well be considered a luxury rather than a right. But at Plan International, play is a priority in all of our early learning projects, wherever they are in the world.


Five-year-old Hennock wants to play football for the big league, on TV — and one day win the cup.

In Ethiopia, most children are denied their right to play because they need to fetch water, tend to crops or care for their siblings. But not Hennock. Through Plan's Early Childhood Project trained teachers help him learn, and he has a safe place to play and kick goals.

Through our Early Learning Project children like Hennock are:

  • accessing mobile donkey-pulled libraries
  • receiving a healthy snack like eggs and fruit
  • getting prepared for school and a future of learning

Change is possible

Children who are able to learn through play are more likely to grow up into healthy, happy and productive adults. You can kick-start permanent change, and help break the poverty cycle.