East African Playgrounds

East African Playgrounds is a charity working to enhance children’s development through play. EAP work alongside local communities to build simulating and exciting playgrounds alongside running arts and games programs.

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Location Data

East African Playgrounds is a UK registered charity that promotes the importance of play in child development. EAP build playgrounds at no fee to the community so children can explore, learn, develop and play alongside their academic education.

EAP offers playgrounds to schools and local children’s centers in Uganda at no cost. Academic institutions apply to EAP and must demonstrate a passion for play alongside holding adequate infrastructure and grounds and ability to share in providing recyclable materials for the playground (usually tires). An initial consultation is held to understand the needs of the community at a particular institution; understanding how the children play, what aspects of play they value and what is of importance in their own culture and location. Each playground is custom made to match these needs. In particular an EAP will draw out 6 key areas of learning through play: Active, Free, Game, Imaginative, Rest and Creative. Playground design is often a team effort drawing on the interests of the children, EAP expertise and the expertise of international and local designers. A playground can be designed to different sizes and choosing from a variety of over 140 apparatus designs.

EAP have 2 playground building workshops, where teams of local builders are trained up and build the playground pieces. Playgrounds use locally sourced materials, which are hard-wearing meaning the playground will last for up to 20 years with limited maintenance. The community are encouraged to participate in construction alongside a team of international volunteers, recruited mainly from universities. All volunteers fundraise a minimum of £700 which contributes to the running of the project. A team of 15 volunteers will typically spend a month constructing one playground alongside EAP’s Ugandan playground building team. With volunteers recruited 9-12 times a year EAP can typically build 16 playgrounds per year. Volunteers play a crucial role as their funds raised ensure the project is sustainable and does not rely on additional donor funding.

Alongside building the playground EAP promote creativity and play by facilitating Arts and Play sessions for children at the school or center. These sessions are initiated during the playground building phase. In the afternoons EAP’s Arts and Play team work with teachers to run the program and show how arts and play and fit into the curriculum. In addition, EAP’s agreement with the school mandates that the school continues to lead Arts and Play sessions for their pupils. This takes place within the school day, often as a co-curricular session for a minimum of once a week. It has been widely researched that play is one of the vital elements of early childhood development with fine motor, social, problem solving skills being just some of the benefits to children.

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