John Rembowski **Past instructions about donating are now redundant as they've changed the website layout-find the only donate button on the page**


If you can spare a minute, I'll explain why this opportunity I've been given to bring joy to hundreds of children and aid the rarest gorilla on earth in the space of one three week adventure is well worth your kind (and generous?!) donations.

As a child (and even now as an 'adult') I loved to play. Whether it was going down to a local playground and having a go on the swings, or playing in a sandpit on a hot summers day, my memories of childhood play are some of the happiest I have. For many children in Uganda, however, this is not the case. These children are sent to work from an early age and the adults they are with often view play as a waste of time, with little understanding of its importance for children. There are very few play facilities available for children, and those that do exist are often unsafe or poor quality. East African Playground, the charity I am raising money for, brings these children the opportunity to play by building and sustaining playgrounds in communities across Uganda.

Play has been shown to have benefits as wide ranging as increased social skills, cognitive abilities and problem solving, as well as fine motor skills, concentration, communication, imagination, and self-control. It’s been shown that 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. Most importantly: it's really good fun! The majority of the funds raised will go towards paying for the equipment and manpower required to build the playgrounds, including training local volunteers and engineers-the charity's main focus throughout the year.

Also, I will spend the second half of the trip getting my own hands dirty and helping to create a sustainable playground from scratch, while also renovating and rejuvenating existing ones. It may sound clichéd, but having watched the videos about the project and seen the countless happy and overexcited faces on a given playground's opening day, I can't wait to be involved.

Here are some concrete examples of what your donations can do:
£25 could provide a small herd of toy animals for the children to play with.
£100 could fund one-month educational play programme.
£250 could give the children the best climbing frame they (or you) have ever seen.

The other charity supported by the first part of the trip is the Ugandan Wildlife Authority, a charity that work on conservation of Ugandan national parks and look after the endangered Silverback gorillas we will trek to see. Moreover, a proportion of the money raised will be given to the Home of Edirisa, a social enterprise that works on building up the communities and towns that we will be trekking through. While it may not seem immediately obvious how us trekking for a week is helping protect the gorillas, over a quarter of the two thousand pounds raised pays for the permit needed to make the journey, the funds from which are used by the local authorities to bolster their anti-poaching efforts and pay guides and guards on the ground.

I know that geographical dislocation can often make donating to a charity seem less worthwhile: I have often been guilty of this sentiment in the past. However, in my eyes it is casual indifference and a lack of basic empathy which seems to be driving a great deal of the negative change we're seeing in the world today. I think making a difference to the life of someone thousands of miles away is a pretty cool thing to do, so I would encourage you to give generously even if there are issues closer to your own heart. If not, nay worries, send me good fundraising ideas instead so I can smash my target.

John :)

John Rembowski