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The Child's Right To Play

The Child's Right To Play

Chan Lok Yin, Login's Story
Faculty of Science

Nowadays, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch are increasingly common in households of Hong Kong. However, in thousands of miles away from Hong Kong, in the South of the Pacific Ocean, people living in rural areas in Fiji are still using raw and simple materials to make toys. During a service trip to Fiji organised by University YMCA (HKU), a group of HKU students, including Login Chan from Faculty of Science, made toys such as marble maze and table football with Fijian children.

Photo of Login and one of the families in Fuji

"While there isn’t a perfect formula for raising a child, striking a balance between learning and playing may be a good way of parenting." 

A couple of weeks before the trip, students from HKU had already gathered to discuss which toys to make. Login said, “We start everything from scratch; from deciding which toys to make to finding methods to make the toy.” Villagers in Fiji contributed materials, and local children aged 4-20 and volunteers from Hong Kong joined hands to make toys. Other than toy making, students from Hong Kong also helped refurnishing a community hall and building a toy library.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that the child has a right to play. “School holiday in Hong Kong doesn’t mean a vacation. Children are preoccupied with private tutorial classes and extra-curriculum activities. But in Fiji, children have no homework at all,” said Login. “Unlike Hong Kong Moms and Dads, parents in Fiji aren’t overprotective; they let their children running with their friends all over the village.” While there isn’t a perfect formula for raising a child, striking a balance between learning and playing may be a good way of parenting. 

Written by:
Clare Wong
Year 3, Faculty of Arts
May 2019

The Child's Right To Play