As many of you know, Love Child is committed to helping children and families not just through our organic food products, but also on a larger scale. Through our Spreading the Love program we’re able to support 4 non-profit organizations, one of which is Playground Builders, a Canadian charity that builds playgrounds for children in war torn countries.
Today I am thrilled to report that recently, through Love Child Organics’ donations, together with Playground Builders we have completed a new Playground at Shahrake Zakireen School, in Northern Kabul, Afghanistan. This school provides education to 5,230 students (they come to school in shifts!) from Grade 1-12, both boys and girls.
Before and after photos below.
So why choose to build playgrounds in Afghanistan?
On a personal level, I have a tie to children from Afghanistan because I taught several of them when I was a teacher in London, England. They were refugees and the stories of what they went through were beyond comprehension. There are two Afghani brothers in particular I will never forget: Ravi and Rasheed, you are forever in my heart.
But let’s put my personal reasons aside and start with this: There are 13 million children in Afghanistan and most do not have safe places to play, socialize and just be kids. This landlocked country has been in the throes of war for decades. Undetonated landmines are littered throughout the area. Generations of children have grown up knowing conflict, guns, bombs, injuries, and death.
Afghanistan has a population of approximately 33 million, of which 41% are under the age of 14. The average age in Afghanistan is 18, and life expectancy is only 51. The literacy rate for adults in Afghanistan is less than 40% — only 24% of women over 15 can read or write. Due to ongoing conflict, there are more than two million war widows. Some children can’t go to school, and forfeit their childhood to work or scavenge as breadwinners of the family. Or worse, they must join a military group and become engaged in the ever-present conflict.
Within this context, the impact of creating safe spaces for children to play is immeasurable. This project brings joy and laughter to at 5,230 children by providing a safe, cost effective, locally built and locally managed playground. The project also engaged local tradespeople to fabricate the play equipment, which provided jobs and incomes for the community.
The playground creates play, which in turn creates laughter. Laughter creates hope. Positive hope creates a positive future. These children are the future of Afghanistan and the prospect of peace, safety, and prosperity for Afghanistan starts with these children getting an education both at the playground and in the school. Play, laughter, and joy impacts the entire extended family of these children. This playground includes sitting benches for family to watch their kids play, as well as equipment like balls, skipping ropes, volleyball, and badminton nets and balls, so that the children have even more opportunity to engage in play together.
Here are some photos of the playground area before the playground was built. As you can see, it wasn’t of much use to the children before as it was very desolate and overgrown.
And look at it now! More importantly look at these happy faces! We couldn’t do it without you all.
Thank you so much for choosing Love Child for your family and in doing so allowing us to help children like these ones. Because all children deserve a safe and happy life.
Founder, Love Child Organics