Florance Willmott

This year I am setting myself the challenge of raising as much money as I can for East African playgrounds. This is an amazing non-profit organisation set up in 2009 by a group of students from Leeds University who recognised how essential play is in aiding a child’s healthy development. Volunteers and fundraisers have the opportunity to not only bring this amazing charity and its dedicated work to the public’s attention via bucket shakes and fundraising events, but also to get hands on and contribute to the children’s happiness and development in person by constructing play grounds alongside the Ugandan staff employed by EAP.

Play makes a lot of what we take for granted possible, from imagination, cognitive abilities and fine motor skills to healthy communication skills, problem solving and self-control. As well as helping us develop valuable life skills play also means higher achievement in education and better rates of employment and wages in adulthood.
Unfortunately, in Uganda play is not valued as highly as it perhaps should be. Financial strains on poor families means that young children can not enjoy being children, instead being expected to help with chores and look for work to help support the household. Ultimately the financial strain from education and the inherent need for the support provided by children to families means that only 53% of children make it through primary school. East African Playgrounds aim is to give children back their childhoods through play.

There are very few play facilities available for children, and those that do exist are often unsafe or poor quality, and only small funds can be put aside in schools for play equipment. East African Playgrounds turns empty uninspiring playing fields into incredible playgrounds perfect for sparking imagination, the likes of which they are likely to have never experienced before.199 playgrounds have been installed reaching 298500 children in 65 centres throughout Uganda so far.

Any donation, no matter how small, will have an unimaginable impact on a Ugandan child’s life, helping to make childhoods a possibility for these children.

£5 a month could build a seesaw within a year
£15 a month could fund the resources for the educational play training programme for a year
£30 a month could provide full apprentice training to a young welder for a year

£25 could provide a small herd of toy animals for the children to play on
£100 could fund one-month educational play programme
£250 could give the children the best climbing frame they (or you) have ever seen

For more information about the extensive effects EAP is having on Ugandan communities visit https://www.eastafricanplaygrounds.org/

Florance Willmott