Smruti Hiremath I am heading to Uganda in June 2020 to build a massive playground for a school in Uganda. While I'm out there, I will also be spending my time working with the local community and contributing to the conservation of the Silverback Gorillas, a critically endangered species, by trekking to visit them. I'm paying for my own flights which means *every single penny* that is raised on here will directly go to the charity.

Why playgrounds? How will this benefit the children?
East African Playgrounds has built over 300 playgrounds across Uganda in schools, community centres are refugee settlements. These playgrounds are not only a vital space to have fun, make friends and play together but also they have proven to increase school attendance and enrolment, reduced antisocial behaviour and increase the perceived importance of children having their childhoods.

Why am I doing this?
I've always been so lucky with the education and extra-curricular activities I have been exposed to. The opportunity to learn the Piano changed my life, I then began to teach young children the basics of Music. Working with children has always been so important to me and enhancing their learning has been at the forefront of my aims. Learning about what playgrounds and this charity can offer these children was so moving. So, I volunteered to go out and make a difference. Alongside building playgrounds, East African Playgrounds also run educational play programmes which increase the use of play-based teaching, resulted in deeper more connected learning outcomes. And as part of the construction of the playgrounds EAP provides a welding apprenticeship programmes for street connected young people, providing them with the skills, knowledges and experiences to create a prosperous future for themselves. I am excited to witness and contribute to this myself.

What difference can your donation make?
£5.11 can give one child their childhood back through access to a safe, fun and child-focussed playground.
£21.83 can educate a teacher on the importance of including play in education and creates a peer network for them to share their learning in.
£73.80 can equip a street connected young person with everything they need to learn the basics of welding, from their own set of work boots through to ear defenders and glasses.
£131 can teach a community of caregivers and educators about the importance of play at home and school, as well as how to maintain their playground.
£197.61 can train a street connected young person for a month to become a qualified builder or welder through our apprenticeship scheme.

If you would like to find out more about my Gorilla Trek (and maybe sign up to join me) then head to this webpage https://www.eastafricanplaygrounds.org/gorillatrek2019

Thanks in advance for your kind donations! If you have any more questions about the charity or what I'll be doing in Uganda, don't hesitate to drop me a message x Smruti Hiremath