Every child should have access to play. Be it disaster or disease, children are exposed to different situations where they become vulnerable, and they are forced to put their childhood on hold. They may already be suffering from trauma and distress, and there is often no space or opportunity for them to play.
Unilab Foundation believes that play is essential to a child’s holistic development, which is why Play It Forward (PIF) was launched in 2012. All of PIF’s activities are designed to highlight play and its significance to the mental health of children, especially in vulnerable situations. Play It Forward uses therapeutic play to provide psychosocial support to pediatric patients and to children in post-disaster or disaster-prone communities.
Play is not “laru-laro lang” (it’s just play and it’s not important). According to Dr. Bles de Asis of the Mindfulness, Love and Compassion (MLAC) Institute for Psychosocial Services, “Play is not just important for the child’s healthy and total development—it is essential.” Play can allow children as well as adults to rise up from challenges and regain the strength to live a full life.
Play It Forward has enabled access to play for thousands of children by facilitating play sessions in hospitals and communities, therefore providing them with safe spaces they need to release stress and build resilience. “Play It Forward hopes to reach more communities and organizations through Play Advocacy Week. We invite everyone to join our cause,” says Lilibeth Aristorenas, Executive Director of Unilab Foundation.
Play Advocacy Week is led by Unilab Foundation's Play It Forward and endorsed by the Council for the Welfare of Children. This activity is supported by the Department of Education, UNICEF, World Vision, City of Tacloban, City of Valenzuela, City of Malabon, DepEd Ilagan, Isabela, Municipality of Atimonan, Quezon, DepEd Marinduque, DepEd Surigao City, DepEd Bicol, Gawad Kalinga, Fundlife International, Ateneo Bulatao Center for Psychology Services, Miriam College, MLAC Institute, The Mind Museum, PETA, Fe Del Mundo Medical Center, Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation, Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine Heart Center, Rizal Medical Center, National Kidney Transplant Institute, Capitol University Medical Center, Our Lady of Peace Hospital, Dr. Arturo Pingoy Medical Center, Lariosa Clinic and Hospital, Southern Philippines Medical Center, Tebow Cure Hospital, Metro Davao Medical & Research Center, Inc., National Children’s Hospital, HealthServ, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, My Brave Little Warrior, Metrobank Purple Hearts Club, Cherubs Therapeutic Massage Therapy Advocates, Inc., Kythe Foundation Inc., World Surgical Foundation, Unilab, Gurufirm, Philippine School of Interior Design, Philam Foundation and ComCo Southeast Asia.
For partnerships and more information about the Play Advocacy Week, please contact the secretariat at (+632) 858-1000 local 8163 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit www.facebook.com/PlayItForwardPH and www.unilabfoundation.org.