Nicolette Joy Chen

This year, I've signed up with the charity, East African Playgrounds, because I believe that every child should have the right to play. I am looking to raise £2,000 to build a playground for a school for children in rural Uganda.

Access to education is seen as a universal right, but oftentimes we forget how important play is for the healthy development of a child. Having grown up in Singapore, I was fortunately never denied play, and never really had to look hard to find it: we have beautiful, colourful and spacious playgrounds and parks to play and run in. During my industrial placement year in London, I worked in a company that strongly advocated the benefits of play, and spent hours sourcing for the best, most educational and most engaging activities for children - acting, dancing, music, coding, and even cooking! So sometimes I forget that play is unfortunately, still not a given right. In Uganda, a "playground" is nothing but several acres of muddy, barren land. No fancy iPads, no ballet studios or lush green fields. Given that play underpins all aspects of children's development - the physical, social, emotion and cognitive - I want to bring the developmental benefits of play to children in Uganda.

Please help me give this important gift of play (something we take hugely for granted!) by donating towards my fundraising. As little as £5 can give one child their childhood back through access to a safe, fun and child-focussed playground, and £22 is enough help educate a Ugandan teacher on the importance of learning through play.

Every small bit counts, so thank you for believing in this amazing cause as much as I do! :-)

P.S: East African Playgrounds are an extremely ethical charity, working with locals to build, rather than break, a local and sustainable community. A full breakdown of where the costs go can be found at

P.P.S: I am also fundraising my flights, so any money raised above the £2,000 can be reimbursed by East African Playgrounds to me (upon my request) , up to the cost of my flights.

Nicolette Joy Chen