The Right to Play!

During the summer holidays children all over the country have been doing what they do best, having fun! Play is so important for children as they grow and develop and all children have the right to play. In the slums of Kampala not all children have the chance to play and just be kids. Children living in extreme poverty often miss out on play and having time to just be kids. Social issues that often go hand in hand with poverty often prevent these children from gaining the benefits of play on a regular basis. Many children are given responsibilities far above their capability at their age because of poverty, whether that be work, taking care of younger brothers or sisters or doing household chores alone. Our Saturday Kids Clubs give children a chance to play in a safe environment where they can just be kids for a few hours each week and receive food after a day of play.

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These spaces have become a haven for children from all backgrounds who are growing up in the slums. Although so many of our other more recently developed projects often take centre stage, the importance of a Saturday Kids Club has never diminished. Currently we have 8 weekly Saturday Kids Clubs taking place each week, run by volunteers in their own communities. These clubs serve a multifaceted purpose: safe spaces, fun and games, a chance to forget about the difficulties of daily life and also a chance to confide in a trusted adult. It is from these Kids Clubs that our volunteers hear about the true struggles of children’s lives and this has informed the development of so many of our projects. If a child is at risk or if their family is in a crisis, our Saturday Kids Clubs will often be the entry point at which they disclose these things before we can support them through our other projects.

This month our fundraising focus is to keep these Kids Clubs running and to be able to buy play equipment and resources so that the children can have as much fun as possible. These kids don’t have toys, games or footballs at home. If you would like to donate even a small amount to help us towards our target please follow this link.

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Why is Play Important?

Research shows that play is beneficial to children emotionally, cognitively, socially, physically and educationally.

  • Emotionally play provides fun, quality of life, relaxation, stress relief and self-expression.
  • Cognitively play helps to develop a child’s creativity, imagination, problem-solving and abstract thinking.
  • Socially play improves children’s skills in co-operation, empathy, conflict resolution, self-esteem and leadership.
  • Physically play provides a framework for children to develop motor skills and take part in regular exercise.
  • Educationally play improves children’s language skills, concentration and understanding of concepts.