PAW Background

Play Around the World upholds the child's right to play as outlined in Article 31 of the United Nations Charter of Rights. "Children have the right to relax and play and to join in a wide variety of cultural, artistic, and other recreational activities." 

Play Around the World was founded in 2001 by professor Jane Vallentyne as an academic offering designed to provide a global education and cross-cultural experience to U of A students in the area of physical activity and play.


  • Since 2001, the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta has been selecting, preparing and sending teams of students to work in the eastern seaboard area of Thailand (primarily Pattaya and Rayong) to assist not-for-profit organizations and projects (street kids projects, orphanages, centres for people with disabilities, government schools and slum projects) in providing opportunities for play, recreation, and sport
  • in 2005 a second location was established in Chiang Mai (northern Thailand) 
  • In 2010, Mary Ann Rintoul initiated a new site in Cambodia and the PAW team paved the way for a new location in the city of Phnom Penh
  • In 2011, 3 teams of students were based out of Chiang Mai and Pattaya in Thailand, and Phnom Penh in Cambodia
  • In 2013, PAW jointly initiated a Pilot project with the Canadian North, Fort Providence, Northwest Territories
  • In 2014, PAW students were based out of the following locations:
    • Rayong/Pattaya, Thailand
    • Chiang Mai, Thailand
    • Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    • Fort Providence, NWT, Northern Canada
  • In 2015, PAW students were based out of the following locations:
    • Rayong/Pattaya, Thailand
    • Chiang Mai, Thailand
    • Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    • Fort Providence, NWT, Northern Canada
  • In 2016, PAW students will serve and learn in the following locations
    • Cusco, Peru
    • Rayong/Pattaya, Thailand
    • Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    • Fort Providence, NWT, Northern Canada