Sat, 28 Nov 2020

Mary (C) and her siblings looking at the hot water coming from the famous Chinyunyu hot springs in Lusaka rural, Zambia, on Nov. 19, 2020. (Xinhua/Lillian Banda)

For many children in rural and remote places of Zambia, the right to play is never inhibited by the lack of refined recreational facilities because children in these settings are able to enjoy their right to play by interacting with natural surroundings.

LUSAKA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- In modern times, children's right to play has often been associated with images of amusement parks filled with jumping castles, swings, and a range of children's toys which most children living in urban areas are familiar with.

However, for many children in rural and remote places of Zambia, the right to play is never inhibited by the lack of refined recreational facilities because children in these settings are able to enjoy their right to play by interacting with natural surroundings.

Bird hunting, tree climbing, and gathering wild fruits as well as swimming in rivers or streams are some notable outdoor fun activities that children in rural areas engage in during their playtime.

"We usually come to the stream further down the hot springs to wash clothes and dishes. After that we take long warm baths at the far end of the stream where the water is cooler," said 11-year-old Mary Phiri.

Mary who lives in Chinyunyu an area in Lusaka rural, said she enjoys going to a nearby stream whose source is Chinyunyu hot springs every day becomes it accords her and her siblings an opportunity to play after undertaking house chores.

For Mary and her siblings, Chinyunyu hot springs which is one of the famous tourist spots in Zambia and a national heritage site is just one of their many play spots.

Mervis Mumba a resident of Chinyunyu explained that though her area does not have many recreational facilities for young people, children often find something that they quickly turn into a recreational activity.

"For children, it does not matter what is or is not in place in terms of recreation facilities, they almost easily turn what might seemingly be a boring activity into a sport that they can enjoy," Mumba said.

She added that despite not having access to facilities like play parks and television sets, children in the area still enjoy their right to play by mostly venturing into the wild and interacting with nature.

"The beauty of living in such an environment is that most things that people from urban areas access at a fee, rural dwellers have access to them at no cost," Mumba said.

As the world commemorates World Children's Day on Friday, it remains important to allow children to enjoy their right play in whatever setting they are in as doing so ensures the realization of other ones of their rights.

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