Ho Ching Ashley Yu I've signed up to the Gorilla Trek with the charity, East African Playgrounds to raise £2,000 to help bring the gift of play to the children of Uganda. In addition to giving myself the chance to see a range of wildlife in the form of the Silverback Mountain Gorillas among others, I will be living and working within a local community to build a playground for a school.

People would say that the classroom is where children start learning all the valuable skills that they require for the rest of their lives. However, playing with their friends and families on playgrounds and other play facilities is where they start to properly realise and appreciate what the whole world is like for them. In fact, studies show that play can increase the chances of people getting a good education, and subsequently a good job. In the UK, we are fortunate to be able to access all kinds of playing facilities, ranging from small playgrounds to huge themed parks, but this is far from the case in many communities across East Africa, with Uganda being one of them.

In Uganda, a normal playing area tends to be a flat muddy terrain that generates nowhere near enough interest for children than a playground does, leading to them having to spend the majority of their time out of school looking for work, or helping with chores at home. Hence the importance of being able to provide them with the tools in helping them to have as much play time as possible, with the benefits being everything from problem solving and social skills to communication and creativity; skills that are necessary for future life.

Some people believe that this kind of work can have a detrimental effect on the whole community. However, I can guarantee you that East African Playgrounds are a charity that only ensures all the work they do has a positive impact to those concerned, and that all the money being raised is, and will be, invested into the local communities in the best possible way. A full breakdown of where the money goes can be found here: https://www.eastafricanplaygrounds.org/gorilla-trek-details.

This is the first big fundraising challenge that I will undertake as a University of Bath student and even though I have never done a trek similar to this one before; with your help, I am looking forward to making what could be a life-changing experience for me as memorable as possible, but more importantly, giving to what is a great cause!
Ho Ching Ashley Yu