Through "Right To Play," an athlete-driven international organization, Johann Olav Koss is working with children, youth and adult coaches in some of the most difficult circumstances in the world, such as refugee camps. His programs aim at bringing about behavioral changes and enhancing children's holistic development.


Right to Play operates in countries affected by war, poverty and disease in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, identifying local issues and addressing them through adapted sport and play programs. The principle guiding Right to Play is to the goal of bringing about a behavioral change among children and youth, furthering their holistic development. Such behavioral changes are cultivated by the involvement of young people in Right to Play’s sports programs, which are designed to teach values and life skills like teamwork, inclusiveness, discipline, and communication.

Right to Play has successfully established a coach-teacher model that builds local capacity by training participants to become future coach/trainers. This not only promotes income generation and career building through the development of leadership skills, but also provides a meaningful connection between youth and adults, thus eliminating barriers in education. The activities are practical and also build role models for children, which has led to an increase in attendance rates in schools. Since many countries are very elitist with respect to competitive sport, Right to Play’s approach of bringing such activities to some of the world’s most disadvantaged youth has also helped reduce class, gender and other social barriers.

Johann has strategically partnered with local communities and citizen organizations in every country his program operates in. Currently, he is entering into a dialogue with national governments to influence public policy, building upon his local success to effect systemic change through the United Nations. By providing assistance to several countries in shaping education policy and advocating for governments to make sport an integral part of education, Right to Play seeks to cultivate sport as a tool for development.


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