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Children see value of traditional games in rural India

A community enjoys the second traditional games expo hosted by CCFC in India

By Lipi Jobson, communications manager, India

ANDHRA PRADESH, India — Hours of old-fashioned fun was on the agenda at this week’s traditional games expo in the Andhra Pradesh district of India at a local school. More than 4,000 children, parents and other locals converged for the expo launched by Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) to promote the value of traditional play.

Jennifer Daubeny (pictured above, middle), consul general of Canada (South India), celebrated the day, which was organized by CCFC with the Rural Organization for Poverty Eradication Services, a local partner. “It was great to see to see such enjoyment of traditional games. Even though children are more exposed to costly games and sports, traditional games have a very important role to play,” she said. "I was also very impressed by the use of the Traditional Games Expo as a venue to provide important messages aimed at ending early child marriage.”

The event was home to more than two dozen activities such as tug of war, hopping (kuntata), sack races (gothalata), kite fighting, hide-and-seek and more. Between the games, attendees enjoyed more than 80 native dishes such as pulihora, tiragabatha rice, coconut rice, guggillu, laddu, red gram, jiggery, coconut, mango and guava; they also visited an informative booth about early, forced marriage.

Most importantly, the children had fun. “I was not given many opportunities to play games in my childhood, as I was not allowed to play,” confessed Priya, a student who participated in the expo. “[Today] I got to play, and I’m enjoying it a lot; I wish the day never ends.” 

To learn more about how children in India’s program areas experience their right to play, visit facebook.com/ccfcindia, and show support by liking the page. 

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About Christian Children's Fund of Canada:

Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-focused international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 50 years, CCFC has been helping children and families of all faiths move from poverty to self-reliance. CCFC supports children and communities in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Currently, CCFC has almost 50,000 children sponsored, benefiting nearly 400,000 people around the world.