By Safa Zaki
There is something magical about seeing children at play. Their wonderment, fascination, and eagerness to explore the world around them epitomize the innocence of childhood.
These photos also illustrate how play transcends cultural, and even socio-economic, boundaries.
Unquestionably, children from poor families, particularly in developing countries, have greater responsibilities, less leisure time, and stresses unimaginable to privileged children in the West. It was with this recognition that the United Nations adopted an international treaty in 1959 that sets out universally accepted rights for children. Principle seven of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child states that: “the child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation.”
While the reality for millions of children around the world is sadly far from the UN’s vision, there is perhaps no better opportunity to illustrate the capacity of individual agency than through the power of a child’s imagination. Whether it’s using a tree branch as a makeshift cricket bat, frolicking in an empty field, or inventing games amongst their peers, as these photos depict, children inspire optimism. Seeing the world through their eyes truly gives you a renewed sense of faith in the human race.