The Just Play programme has been revitalised in Papua New Guinea, having been first introduced into the country in 2011. The programme has faced challenges over the past few years due to the pandemic situation, but through the support of OFC and the PNGFA, the current Social Responsibility Programme Manager Christine Wamala is reviving Just Play in PNG one step at a time.

Just Play is a Sport for Development programme which focuses on participation and fun while integrating key social messages into fun activities and football games for all children aged 6-12.

Building a team and their capacity is the focus in PNG to ensure the programme continues to grow and reach as many children as it can in schools and communities across the country.

With Just Play coordinator Sonia Embahe and newly trained instructor and Mickey Tamarua as the monitoring and evaluation officer, the team is currently focusing on delivering the new Health & WASH curriculum in the Port Moresby NCD area. The Just Play team are able to provide regular support for the teachers and community volunteers while also monitoring the progress and challenges, and  reporting the impact before spreading to further provinces.

54 teachers and community volunteers have been trained to deliver the programme in their respective schools and communities and Wamala is receiving many requests for the programme from other provinces and islands.

“Once the team is confident the programme is running effectively in the NCD area, we will be looking to take the next steps to start spreading the programme further and will be reaching out to these provinces.” Wamala said.

The programme is funded across the Pacific by the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, and the UEFA Foundation for Children.