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UK Aid Match Appeal Raises over £236,576 for Play Action International

Posted on 12 November 2020

Play Action International (Formerly East African Playgrounds) announces it has raised £236,576 as part of its ‘Play for Brighter Futures’ UK Aid Match Appeal. The funds raised will provide a brighter future for refugee children in Uganda, through the organisation’s transformative play programmes.

From 1 March to 1 June, Play Action International was proud to be part of the UK government’s UK Aid Match scheme through its: ‘Play for Brighter Futures’ appeal – a national campaign that sought to raise vital funds to increase health, wellbeing and education for refugee children through play. Play Action International raised £236,576 in total, including £106,152 of match funding from the UK government.

The appeal was launched to raise funds in response to the growing need for greater access to play and education in refugee settlement camps like Bidibidi in Uganda. Bidibidi is Uganda’s largest refugee resettlement and 57% of refugee children there are missing out on early years education. The impact on their long-term outcomes is immense and through the UK Aid Match Appeal where every £1 raised was doubled as part of this incredible initiative, Play Action International can work to improve health, wellbeing and employment outcomes using its 10+ years of experience.

With the funds raised from the appeal, Play Action International can now work with local communities in Uganda to help thousands of refugee children. This will be achieved by building safe and exciting playgrounds, along with play-based learning initiatives to support early years learning and development. It is anticipated that over 7,000 children will be reached through this part of the play programme, increasing enrolment in Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDs). For refugee children in Bidi, play can bring possibility. It will provide them with the necessary tolls to help them succeed in life, giving them their childhood’s back and helping them heal from their experiences.

The funds raised throughout the appeal were generated from the kindness of individuals and organisations across the UK. A special thanks goes to all those who took part in Play Action International’s first-ever digital fundraising challenge ‘Quest to Bidibidi’ which used people’s favourite activities to see them journey 8,800km from the UK to Uganda virtually, raising over £10,000 and improving their own health and wellbeing outcomes during the UK lockdown. Other thanks go to The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust who champion, fund and connect young leaders working hard to change the world, for their grant of over £30,000 which helped make the appeal a success.

Murielle Maupoint, CEO of Play Action International said, “There are tens of thousands of vulnerable children living in Bidibidi, Uganda – the second largest refugee settlement in the world. Most have experienced significant trauma in their short lives and their future outcomes are now compounded by the impact of the pandemic. With the kind donations from the UK public and the match funding from the UK government, we can seek to make a difference to children and communities through the incredible power of play.”