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“Just Play” spirit perseveres through the rain

Kids from the neighbouring villages of Papa, Taga, Puleia and Gataivai wowed spectators with their performances before taking part in different activities which encouraged child protection, gender equality, health and social inclusion. A participant with special needs from Papa stole the show, excitedly dancing to Katy Perry’s “Roar” with his group, his movements echoing the lyrics.
Just Play co-ordinator Tusani Tiatia from Gataivai, Savaii emphasized how this community initiative has given the children from nearby villages a chance to join forces and get to know each together. “I’ve seen a major change in the children, thanks to the Just Play program. They interact with people who have disabilities without judgment, embracing the key message of social inclusion”, says the program co-ordinator.
The community festival majorly driven by MESC in collaboration with Football Federation Samoa, was well received by all especially 6 year old Leonidas Tamala. “My favourite activity was dancing to the music, then picking up the ball from the centre of the field when the volunteer blew the whistle and running back to the home base before the other teams. I also enjoyed eating sandwiches and drinking water”.

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