We tailor our programmes to meet the unique needs of children in different communities to ensure we maximise the power of play to enrich their lives.
Working in partnership with local people, we are able to provide a community with a programme that provides a long-lasting and deep rooted impact. In every community we work in, we ensure to include the needs of marginalised groups such as girls and, more broadly, children with disabilities.
In August 2016, when the conflict in South Sudan caused an unprecedented number of people to seek refuge in neighbouring Uganda, our programmes became an integral part of the Ugandan Government’s and humanitarian sector’s response. With play providing effective psycho-social support to refugee and trauma affected children, we have developed partnerships with UNICEF, Plan International, World Vision, Save the Children and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to respond to this essential need. By 2022, there was a playground in almost every community within the Bidibidi refugee settlement – enabling children to use the power of play to process their traumatic experiences, develop and learn.
Children living in urban slums face some of the harshest living conditions in the world. Lack of sanitation, homelessness, food scarcity, disease, crime, abuse, violence and addiction are rife in slum settings. With no safe space to play and with most excluded from school, children face multiple risks, every moment of their life living there. We are developing a range of programmes to provide children with respite from the inconceivable realities of their day to day life and vital opportunities to play, learn and develop.
Rural communities often face significant disadvantage due to the remoteness of their location, lack of access to services/information and the impact of climate change on their livelihoods. Indeed, some of the most remote areas in Uganda, such as Karamoja, show the highest levels of poverty and disadvantage in the country. Working with ECD centres and primary schools to install playgrounds and implement educational play programmes in rural communities, we have achieved impressive results in increasing school attendance, learning outcomes and reducing dropouts. Indeed, the playgrounds have created a strong community centre where children and families can benefit from additional services.
ECD and Primary Schools
Over the past 10+ years we have developed an outstanding track record in supporting Early Childhood Develop (ECD) centres and primary schools to successfully integrate playgrounds and play-based teaching in their settings, to improve help children to develop and learn. We are continually improving the range of playgrounds components on offer and our educational play programmes – to ensure we remain at the cutting edge of play. Most recently we have launched a new programme, Hygiene Heroes, that uses play to improve hand hygiene amongst young learners as well as developing socially distanced, multi-user hand washing stations to enable schools to minimise the impact of COVID-19.
Hospitals, Police stations, Registration centers
The world is designed for adults with children expected to fit in and navigate the adult world until they are adults themselves. There are many intimidating situations a child can find themselves in, however through our play programmes and resources, we can work to provide a more child-friendly environment to produce better outcomes for all. Our interventions range from implementing play-based programmes in hospitals to improve children’s recovery to creating child friendly spaces in police stations and refugee registration centres to minimise the fear that children experience in those settings.
It’s time to up the ante on play in the UK. Building on our extensive experience working with some of the world’s most vulnerable children in Africa, Play Action International is committed to supporting the UK’s most marginalised children to access safe, stimulating, and fun play opportunities which support their holistic development and well-being. Our programme aims to ensure that by 2025, every child in England & Wales will have access to stimulating opportunities for play – both indoors and outdoors – in their local community. We will achieve this through a range of programmes and partnerships which will allow us to bring play to some of the most disadvantaged children in the UK.