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Davao
Monday, November 29, 2021
DAVAO

Samante: Resuming the Children’s Games

Game On

THE local political scene has been very turbulent in the past few days. It will become more intense in the coming days leading to the campaign and election periods. In any case, non-election-related engagements now take a back seat, and incidentally, sports also do.

In a recent column I did, I wrote about the desire for continuity in implementing sports programs and initiatives during this administration. The call remains. Continue programs and projects that work and re-think and reconsider those that cannot be accomplished because of the restrictions. One of the programs that we wish to continue with the easing of restrictions is the Children's Games. This Saturday, November 20, we celebrate International Children's Day. It is just sad that children have been confined in their homes for two years without any physical games and primarily interacting with their peers online.

As we celebrate International Children's Day, we need to also plan for the eventual return of play for these children. One of the flagship programs of the PSC, Children's games events, can now be gradually re-introduced following the Alert levels instituted by the IATF. With areas under Alert level 2 more open to conducting activities, these areas can be pilot sites for the resumption of the games.

Instead of a day event, the Children's games can be conducted several days in adjacent and neighboring areas to save on logistics. We don't need mass participation. We need to let the children play. The "Ate and Kuya" concept of conducting the games will be handy in this setup. Train enough adults who can serve as the Ate's and Kuya's to lead the games to groups of 10-20 children at a given time in a locality. Of course, these adults will have to be fully vaccinated for the safety of the unvaccinated participants. These are some of the ideas to resume the program for the benefit of the children.

We cannot cower in fear forever; we need to reclaim what was lost. Part of reclaiming is allowing these children to reclaim play as provided in the UN Charter on the Child's Rights. We owe it to the children to prepare them for the "new normal" to make them better citizens of this nation, post-pandemic. Providing an avenue for them to exercise their rights allows them to realize the value of human rights.


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