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Case Studies

Playground | Planting trees | Making Kids Smile

Playground at a pre-school

What:A playground made from wood for children aged 3-5
Cost:approx. US$700
Who:The playground was funded by a private donor. There was a group of between 2 - 13 volunteers who participated in designing & building swings, a seesaw, a tree house and a rope climb. 2 great local workers were employed for the duration with some extra workers being employed on occasion. The rope climb was made by a local fisherman who weaves fishing nets.
Duration:The whole project took about 3 weeks to complete working monday to friday for about 6 hours a day.
How:The school was introduced through a third party.
Issues:Thankfully, no major issues came up during the building of the playground, but there were plenty of small ones.

There were lots of location considerations such as coconut trees - building under a 20 foot high coconut tree would not have guaranteed the lifespan of any equipment!

Power supply was a constant frustration, including not having a decent extension cord or adaptor. Many of the tools we were using were not of great quality. When considering building anything, it's worthwhile considering bringing quality tools to make life easier!

There were days when there were too many volunteers. This was great to make the building go faster, but people got bored and disatisfied. There was little that could be done other than more thorough supervision and warning people in advance that there may not be enough work.

Transport became an issue. The funder had elected to provide transport for volunteers, but this became a much larger expense. Public transport was experimented with, but the time involved and the stress for volunteers was not justified. A van was rented on a few occasions and even though this was far more expensive, it worked out the best all round.
Where:Galle District, Sri Lanka
When:February, 2006 - over a year after the Tsunami.
Why:The school previously had one seesaw and some swings that had been paid for by the parents of students. The equipment was old and damaged. Although the school itself was not affected by the Tsunami, a lot of parents' income had been greatly reduced and they could not afford to replace the broken pieces.
Considerations:There were times when a particular difficulty arose regarding employment. Due to the high number of volunteers at times, I found that we did not need to employ locals. This went against a lot of principles. In future, I would not do the same thing; rather I would favour local employment over volunteers.
Contact:Emily via contact us (please put "Playgrounds" in the subject heading)

Planting trees

Planting Trees/Community Development

Making Kids Smile

Gen: I started fundraising in England so that I could come to Sri Lanka to help the kids...

Check out gen's web site for more details!