Project ManunGiochiamo – Improving Lives Through Play



ManunGiochiamo is an educational project that, through play and sport, aims to foster collective growing processes, collaboration mechanisms and social inclusion.

Play and sport are seen as tools for educating children and youths living in difficult conditions, helping them to face poverty, disease and conflict issues.


Apart from schools, there are no places for children to gather, so they spend most of their free time in the street or neighborhood. The family, when present (the average age of the population is 38 years, with a high young mortality rate due to AIDS) usually must concentrate on serious problems or is committed to seeking immediate food resources. Therefore, the goal of this project is to provide tools (sports equipment) and train local coaches who can initiate sport activities with a strong social and educative value in a context of material and cultural difficulty. At the same time, they also create a rich environment in which children learn about themselves, other people, relationships and the world through play and informal interactions. This environment will also influence children’s emotional well-being.


The UN recognizes play as a right of every child; it is not a luxury, but a tool for development and peace. It initiates important life lessons and develops skills like cooperation, leadership, trust and teamwork; it also promotes the involvement of all children, those with disabilities, affected by HIV and AIDS and the homeless. Play provides a retreat from everyday hardships and brings joy and laughter, allowing kids to be kids.

Through sports activities, children’s behavior improves, new thought processes are introduced, confidence is infused and a domino-effect of developmental change occurs within the child and throughout their communities.

atletThrough play we aim to:

HELP CHILDREN LEARN: We want to create learning processes by using games as a tool for education, fostering physical, cognitive and social development.

PROMOTE CHILDREN’S HEALTH: We want to utilize play to educate children about disease prevention.

BUILD PEACE MECHANISM: We want to provide children with peace-building and cooperation skills.

Every activity, carried out in each area of this intervention, aims to help children build and maintain self-esteem, resist peer pressure, resolve problems and communicate, never forgetting that:

– Role models, the family, trainers (coaches), teachers and peers play an important role in helping children adopt new behaviours.

– We must give children and youth the opportunity to practice skills, knowledge and attitudes that contribute to change.

– We want to build self-esteem, confidence, hope, optimism, empathy, compassion and motivation.
In the long term we want the children being able to:
• realize his or her own potential
• cope with the normal stresses of life
• work productively and fruitfully
• make a contribution to the community


A variety of physical activities and sports, both individual and team based will be provided each day for at least 2 hours. These physical activities will range from moderate to vigorous intensity; they are age and stage appropriate and include skill and knowledge components.

A good balance of both play and instruction will be included to ensure the mastery of fitness and life skills. The activities should be fun and challenging, and designed to bring about improvements in health and communication skills.

We want to guarantee access to community facilities that are safe and secure, and which have the necessary equipment, these we will collected prior to the start of the project.

Particular activities will be proposed in order to develop friendships and positive social interactions between children.

We would like to collaborate with and train community leaders, for example: early childhood educators, teachers and staff from other associations to create a sense of local involvement and empowerment, ensuring a long-lasting impact.

15 (fifteen) local trainers,

150 (one hundred and fifty) children aged between 3 and 15 years, divided according to their age to fit the activities we will promote, from a psychopedagogic perspective.


St. Vincent Community School (Diocese of Monze)



Nicoló – (basketball)

Mario – (athletics)

Matteo – (soccer)