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Strengthening our Reach and Impact in Kenya through Play

Posted on 29 May 2024

We recently welcomed our delegation of officials from Kisumu County Government to the UK – strengthening our reach and impact in Kenya through play.

We were honoured to host our delegation of officials from the County Government of Kisumu, Kenya. This included the Governor of Kisumu. Edwin Afande at the Kenya High Commission in London last month as we seek to further strengthen our reach and impact in Kenya.

Our amazing visitors from Kisumu barely had time to catch their breath after landing! Straight from the airport, they were whisked away to Woodrow High House in Amersham. Here, the magic of nature unfolded before their eyes. Imagine an outdoor classroom – not desks and textbooks, but sprawling greenery and resources that spark children’s creativity, ignite their love for learning, and nurture their well-being. It was a true inspiration!

Next stop: a trip through time to Wicksteed Park in Kettering! This historic gem holds a special place in the UK’s playground legacy. Founded way back in 1921 by the play pioneer Charles Wicksteed, the park was built with one purpose in mind: to bring people together through the power of play! Our delegation was eager to discover how these community spaces benefit children and families.

The afternoon brought an exciting visit to Wicksteed Leisure HQ. Here, the focus shifted to the future of playgrounds. Our guests delved into the world of sustainable practices that are shaping the way playgrounds are built today – a topic close to their hearts.

We made many other stops off, including at The Engineering & Design Institute London (TEDI-London) to see how we can better engage children and young people, through playful hands on STEM based learning, to be the engineers of the future.

Speaking of passion, a shared commitment to fighting malaria led the delegation to Miswa Chemicals in Northampton. Together, they explored innovative ways to raise awareness and educate children and families in Kisumu about malaria prevention. It was a meeting of minds, with Miswa Chemicals, Kenyan-rooted and strong, echoing their support for the Kisumu County Governor’s ambitious strategy.

Finally, the delegation turned their attention to early education. Bright Horizons, specialists in the field, welcomed them to one of their settings. Here, the Bright Beginnings Curriculum – a research-driven and child-centred approach – took centre stage. Discussions around this program were energising! The delegation sees this as a key to unlocking the potential of young learners in Kisumu. By providing the best possible start, they hope to boost graduation rates and empower children to reach their full potential.

The visit from the delegation of officials from the County Government of Kisumu comes at a poignant time for Play Action’s work in Kenya. Working in partnership with Kisumu County, we commenced the construction of the Canon Nyong’o Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre.

The construction of the ECD Centre aligns with the County Government’s efforts to enhance early childhood education in the area for the local community. Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the County Government will co-finance the centre’s construction, following a recent benchmarking visit to the UK to learn about managing exemplary ECD centres.

The centre will feature classrooms, an office, restrooms, a kitchen, and a playground equipped with play facilities, designed to deliver enriching play and learning for children in Kisumu.

The Governor of Kisumu, Professor Peter Anyang Nyong’o said “We extend our gratitude to our friends in the United Kingdom, particularly the charity organization Play Action International, for their generous support in building this centre named after my father.”

We’re excited to see the build progress. Watch this space and stay tuned on social media to see the ECD Centre build take shape.