Since our inception in 2009, we have installed over 200 playgrounds in communities across Uganda. However, ensuring every child can access their right to play is more complex than just installing playgrounds.
In each community, we run a whole series of consultation and training sessions to run alongside the playground installation, which is what makes our work have the wide benefit it does. We train teachers on how to utilise the playground as an education resource, we form a community playground committee who learn how to maintain the playground and much more. Our four-stage approach ensures our work has sustainable impact and provides maximum benefits for the community.
In this part of the training, we engage with the community and children to find out how the children currently play and what the play history is within the community. We gather this information from them through games and activities, meaning they can have fun at the same time!
From the information we gather, we design their playground to encompass the essence of their community and play culture. For example, if the children talk about playing doctors and nurses, we will construct a clinic and if the community talk about their pride in the road network we will construct some toy boda bodas (motorbikes) and matatus (public bus).
The educational play section is a course open to teachers and community members to learn about how they can inject a play into their teaching and how they can utilise the playground in their lessons. The playground is a rich learning resource allowing the teacher to teach colours, numbers, forces, angles and so much more.
Working with the whole community we discuss the differences a playground will bring to a community, how they need to prepare themselves and the long-term implications. We train a team in maintenance and safety too. This builds community understanding and ownership over a playground, resulting in long term change, sustainable change.
This session even comes with a song! Here we play games with the children to help them come up with the safest and fairest ways to play on the playground. Ultimately, they come up with some rules that the whole community adhere to.
This four-staged approach ensures the programme has holistic benefits and enhances the benefits a community gains from their playground.
The play-based teaching programme is designed to encourage teachers to use play-based teaching in schools and to utilise the playground in lessons as an educational resource.
The playgrounds East African Playgrounds installs are unique due to their wide-reaching impact and the high quality standards each playground meets.