Charlie  Martin In June 2020 I will be in Uganda helping to lead a team that will be building just one of many playgrounds being built in the country that summer. After trekking through the jungle to stop of and see the last remaining wild Mountain Gorillas we will make our way to a village school. So far, East African Playgrounds has built over 300 playgrounds across Uganda in schools, community centres are refugee settlements. These playgrounds are not only a vital space to have fun, make friends and play together but also they have proven to increase school attendance and enrolment, reduced antisocial behaviour and increase the perceived importance of children having their childhoods.

From gaining a new playground a teacher from Kawule Primary School explains how she is now able to use it as a learning resource.
"Before the playground was installed, I would struggle to teach topics, such as budgeting and money, due to lack of resources. But ever since the playground was installed, I have been using the play shop for the children to learn through role play, resulting in the children grasping the topic much faster and with deeper understanding."

Alongside building playgrounds East African Playgrounds also run educational play programmes which increase the use of play-based teaching, resulted in deeper more connected learning outcomes. And as part of the construction of the playgrounds EAP provides a welding apprenticeship programmes for street connected young people, providing them with the skills, knowledges and experiences to create a prosperous future for themselves.

Another reason I have chosen to volunteer with EAP is their commitment to ethical volunteering. As you can see from above, EAP place an emphasis on training local people to take part in the skilled labour that goes in to building a playground, creating rather than taking jobs from local communities, and this year they also plan to carbon offset the volunteers flights. Charlie Martin