Jamil Sawalma, Country Director of Right To Play Palestine, spoke about our play-based activities and the situation of Palestinian children during our two Educational Events.

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Jamil Sawalma has been working for Right To Play for eleven years and has been involved in our activities in Palestine since 2003 – practically since the beginning. Since he himself grew up in a refugee camp in Palestine, Jamil was able to relate his story to the listeners and place them in the position of a child growing up with the challenges and limitations of life in Palestine.

As a particularly dedicated student, Jamil had the opportunity to study in London and work for international organisations. This has strengthened his self-confidence and changed his personal view on many things. With Right To Play, he is committed to ensuring that children benefit from play-based education and are equipped with important skills to take their lives into their own hands. In 2017, he won the Child 10 Award for his dedication.


Due to the geographical division of Palestine into two areas, Gaza and the West Bank, as well as strict Israeli surveillance and unpredictable military attacks, children in Palestine grow up without prospects and in constant uncertainty. This leads to hopelessness, disorientation, and a lack of development of important personal and social skills.

Right To Play is committed to improving the quality of education and to creating a safe learning environment for children in and outside refugee camps in Palestine. Through play-based learning methods, children have fun at school and develop an interest in their education. Sport and play also nurture important emotional and social skills such as self-confidence, empathy, teamwork, conflict resolution, and communication skills.

Classroom Transformation
In cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Education, minimum standards for an active classroom were introduced in 2018, providing the basis for a positive and welcoming learning environment. These enable a play-based learning methodology, inter-gender interaction, and the active participation of children with disabilities. Particular attention is paid to interactivity between all those involved in school learning.

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Sport and play as psychological support
Right To Play also employs the power of play in crisis situations. Sports and group games are particularly suitable for getting children out of a traumatising environment and restoring a sense of normalcy to them. In this process, the coaches trained by Right To Play apply various forms of play, such as role-playing, which enable children to express themselves in an accessible way and to process what they have experienced. Through these positive experiences and group conversations, the children feel less alone with their feelings and struggles.


Mélody Duarte

Many thanks
Thanks to all guests for their participation and interest in our programs in Palestine.

A heartfelt thank you goes to Jamil Sawalma, who gave us an insight into the Right To Play programmes in Palestine and the difficult circumstances in which the children live.

A big thank you to Honey Taljieh, Corporate Communications Manager at FIFA, for sharing her story with the members of the Right To Play Circle (patrons club) at the Educational Briefing at Property One. Since her youth, she has been committed to gender equality, human rights, and sport and established women's football in Palestine. Her story is a great example of how sport can positively change people's lives and attitudes.

Thank you to the three Right To Play ambassadors Roger Furrer, Carlos Lima, and Alexander Martinez for your visit at the Educational Lunch and the exchange with our guests.

Many thanks to Rahn+Bodmer Co. and Property One for their hospitality, catering, and making the events possible within their premises.