Ann Njeri Gabaku, teacher in the Join for Joy program
Join for Joy
HundrED has not validated this innovation
Why did you create this innovation?
Children in the rural areas of East Africa often do not come to school. Those who do come to school are often not challenged because of the old-fashioned way of teaching. Girls and disabled children are frequently left out at school. This - in addition to daily struggles such as illnesses, violence, child marriages & early pregnancies - leads to an enormous number of drop-outs.
How does your innovation work in practice?
Science has repeatedly shown that learning through play impacts the development of children positively. This is why we developed our sustainable sports and play program, in which primary school teachers learn about the power of playful learning and how to implement it at school.
Teachers learn how they can playfully teach children how to protect themselves against diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Malaria and COVID-19. Topics that are taboo in many rural areas, such as sexual violence, child marriages and gender (in)equality are discussed. The sports and play activities are specifically aimed at the development of life skills for children, such as assertiveness, self-confidence and respect. For children with a disability, sports and play are powerful means to make them look at possibilities instead of limitations.
The program has been implemented at 132 schools in East Africa so far, resulting in a 45% increase of students coming to school, less drop-outs & energised & empowered children.
How has it been spreading?
Join for Joy founded in 2011. We started out by organising sports camps for children in Kenya. Soon we found that there was a much more sustainable way of making a change: by transferring knowledge about playful learning to local teachers, who we now proudly call our 'Agents of Change'!
We have so far trained over 525 teachers, divided over 132 schools in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda & Zambia. This means that more than 429.000 children at schools and in the surrounding communities have gotten familiar with playful learning and have the chance to develop themselves into strong and resilient boys and girls with a positive outlook on their future.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
Please contact Join for Joy for more information about playful learning, the sports and play program or possible collaborations.