Simonique Grant I've signed up to do a Gorilla Trek with the charity, East African Playgrounds to raise £2,000 to help bring the gift of play to the children of Uganda. Play has an incredible benefit on a child's development. I believe every child should have this opportunity as it builds physical, social, emotional, and cognitive skills, as well as encouraging communication, relationships, and imagination. It also gives them a space in which to make sense of the world and exercise freedom of thought. A playground is a classroom outside; children don't know they are learning, they don't feel like they are learning, but really they are taking in the world around them whilst playing with their friends. It is a safe environment for them to develop and grow, and build on skills which will improve their lives all the way into adulthood.

East African Playgrounds build playgrounds across Uganda- including refugee camps- helping to empower some of the world's most disadvantaged children. In addition to this, they also educate teachers, parents, and the community on the importance that play has on education and the way in which they can incorporate play into their daily lives. East African Playgrounds work hard to improve the community and make sure they have an everlasting impact. I am very excited to be a part of this amazing charity, and look forward to making a difference while I’m in Uganda, not only with children, but also with the Silverback Gorillas, with whom I will have a direct impact on their conservation and environment.

As a trainee teacher, I believe that every child deserves the right to have access to a good education and a chance to explore the world around them through play, so this work is very important to me. I feel very grateful to have been given this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children.

During my time there, I will be taking on every kind of terrain the world has to offer, (mountains, lakes, and jungles) before volunteering on a playground build. Of the £2000 I raise, £300 will go to the Uganda Wildlife Authority to help the conservation efforts of the gorillas I will be visiting. £600 will go on project costs of food, accomodation, and travel, most of which will go to the non-profit trek company, the Home of Edirisa, who support the communities we will trek through. The remaining £1,100 will go directly to East African Playgrounds to fund their incredible work. I am also fundraising for my flights, so any money that I raise above the £2000 can be reimbursed by East African Playgrounds to me (upon request), up to the cost of my flight.

I want to give this gift to the children of Uganda, can you please help by donating towards my fundraising?

A breakdown of where the costs go can be found at:

'What difference does your donation makes?’
All the money donated will go towards making a difference. Below is a breakdown of exactly what East African Playgrounds will be spending the money you donate on:

£5 gives one child their childhood back through access to a safe, fun, and child-focussed playground.
£22 educates a teacher on the importance of including play in education and creates a peer network for them to share their learning in.
£74 equips a former street child with everything they need to learn the basics of welding, from their own set of work boots, through to ear defenders and glasses.
£131 teaches a community of caregivers and educators about the importance of play at home and school, as well as how to maintain their playground.
£198 trains a former street child for a month, helping them to become a qualified builder or welder through our apprenticeship scheme.

*Please note, if you are a relative of mine you cannot gift aid your donation, according to charity law.

Please donate what you can to help me give children in Uganda their childhoods.

Simonique Grant