In the face of global pandemic and natural disasters, our daily lives have been put to a standstill and many children have lost access to play. Because of this, a huge part of children’s activity, creativity and learning have come to a pause affecting their holistic development and overall wellbeing. Moreover, some have placed play within the limiting context of “laru-laro lang”. With this, play advocates continuously address the misleading notion and provide the right perspective that play should be given priority as it is considered one of the basic rights of children as stated in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Supporting the promotion on the right to play, the Philippine Play Coalition (PPC), a network of organizations which Unilab Foundation, Council for the Welfare of Children, World Vision Philippines, Unang Hakbang Foundation, Kythe Foundation, Tukod Foundation and Educo Philippines are actively involved in, has been working to ensure that every child will not miss their experience of play even amidst the time of pandemic.

NPAW 2020
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Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo showed her support for the advocacy. © Jasper Ruby Vijar

Amplifying this great cause, the National Play Advocacy Week 2020 (NPAW) was celebrated last November 16 to 22, 2020.  The celebration successfully reached over 10,000 children via offline and online platforms, 300,000 Filipinos through online platforms and engaged 150 partners to participate and conduct play activities.  The Local Government of Iloilo City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Zamboanga City also showed their strong support and eagerly participated in the celebration.

NPAW 2020 play
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Games like Chinese garter and hopscotch have physical and social benefits for children. © SK Calumpang, Binangonan, Rizal

This 2021, Unilab Foundation is continuously strengthening its play advocacy under its program, Bayanihan for WellBeing (BWB), through the distribution of Resiliency Play Bags. These play bags aim to spark hope, harness creativity, and develop resilience and coping skills among Filipino children, who were not only strained by the presence of the coronavirus outbreak, but were also victims of the recent calamities that struck our nation in the previous year.

play
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Children at heart. Teens and adults also benefit from games such as sports and team building games. © GO Bike Project

A Bayanihan for WellBeing Resiliency Play Bag is composed of the following:

  1. Toys like sipa and kickball, which are intended to help children release tension.
  2. Cape and mask which they could design, allowing them to identify their strengths and make them feel like Superheroes.
  3. Writing and coloring sheets to encourage their creativity and help them express their emotions.

As little as Php250 / $5.00 will help warm the heart of a child and build his/her resilience.

The donation can be done via bank deposit through the Bank of Philippine Islands:

Account Name: Unilab Foundation, Inc.

Account Number: 0181-0489-72

Branch: BPI, Mandaluyong

Swift Code: BOPIPHM

or via PayPal at healthierPH@unilabfoundation.org

Finally, a screenshot of your donation transaction needs to be sent to headsup@unilabfoundation.org.

For more details, you can also visit the Bayanihan for WellBeing Facebook page to support this worthy cause and share the initiative with your loved ones, friends and colleagues.

Let’s continue to make play happen this year. Together, let us nurture resilience and withstand change through the power of play!

 

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