• The Right to Purposeful Play in Malawi

    CAC Global Citizen Libbie Randolph writes about her final week with CAC in Lilongwe, Malawi.
    In Chichewa, the local language in Lilongwe, Malawi, Kusewera means ‘to play.’ I could not think of a more fitting name for the partner organization that we worked with in Malawi this week. Every afternoon around 2pm, the sounds of children laughing, swinging, running, and bouncing balls filled Kusewera Village. In addition to the visible joy that the facilities brought to these children, our on-field sessions and off-field discussions proved how dedicated the Kusewera team is to advocating for children’s right to play and learning through #EducationOutsideoftheClassroom. During our week-long program, we focused primarily on UNSDG 4, Quality Education, and UNSDG 5, Gender Equality, as well as child rights. On-field, many of the 35 games that we played sparked discussions about how we, as coaches and educators, can advocate for and protect children’s rights in our community, such as the right to play. We also played games that lead to conversations about how empowering women and girls in the community and the workplace benefits not only women, but the whole society. By the end of the week, the participants were all enthusiastic about using the CAC curriculum and games to implement #PurposefulPlay in Kusewera programming for the local community.
    I could not have asked for a better program to conclude my time as a Global Citizen with CAC. Although I wish I had more time, I’m leaving Malawi having learned so much from the Kusewera educators and the community. From teaching us songs and dances to sharing nsima with us during lunchtime, the Kuswera community has been more than welcoming from the moment we arrived. Despite it being the first time that CAC has partnered with Kusewera, the discussions that we had assured me that the educators prioritize the children in their community. The statement, “Change starts with us,” was repeated often throughout the week, and it is very apparent that the educators and coaches believe that. At the end of the week, the local program leader, Jordan, thanked us and said, “Before working with CAC, we would just provide the balls and equipment for the children to play. Now, we are more aware and prepared as educators to participate in the play and make it more meaningful.” To me, that statement captures the essence of what CAC strives for through the goals of #EducationOutsideoftheClassroom and #PurposefulPlay.”