Ellie Curtis I have signed up to take part in The Gorilla Trek with the East African Playgrounds to raise quite simply as much money as I can, to give children their childhood through play. Play is an extremely underrated but essential part of a child's life that as part of 1st world countries, we perhaps overlook. Play gives children the chance to develop themselves through building building physical, emotional, social and cognitive skills, and East Africa Playgrounds recognises the importance of this and implements their play programmes in Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, primary schools, hospitals and refugee settlements across Uganda.

Being a child in Uganda is hard. After decades of political unrest and conflict, 8 million children live in poverty. Time not spent in school is spent working or helping at home and half the population is under 15 so classes are huge and resources scarce. This, combined with a system of basic learning, children don’t get the chance to be creative, use their imaginations and simply be children. East African Playgrounds have been installing playgrounds in schools, to give Uganda’s children the chance to play since 2009. They train teachers in play theory, and how to incorporate the playground into lessons, as well as how to look after it. This teaches children vital skills and conducts to carry with them throughout life. Adding play to a child’s life can lead to significantly raised IQs, greater achievement at school and even higher rates of employment and wages in adulthood. Please help donate to this cause by giving whatever you can to send me and my friends to Uganda to help build the playgrounds ourselves.

To fundraise for this I will be spending 3 weeks in Uganda, trekking through rain forest, canoeing across rivers and climbing mountains, before building the actual playground myself (of course with help from a brilliant team of trained Ugandan builders and welders!).
Please donate what you can, and help give these children the childhood they so deserve. Ellie Curtis