Hundreds of children in a poverty-stricken African village are celebrating after the generosity of the people of Eastbourne helped raised £10,000 to build them a special playground.
The Quicken Trust, launched the Let Us Play appeal last autumn. The aim was to create an amazing playground in the heart of the Ugandan village of Kabubbu, 20 miles north of the capital, Kampala, which it has been helping to transform for 14 years.
Five months on, the target has been reached.
“It’s a fantastic achievement,” said Quicken founder, Geoff Booker. “We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to the appeal. The children in Kabubbu will absolutely treasure this playground. And so will the whole community.”
Quicken teamed up with East African Playgrounds to build the facility. But first they consulted Kabubbu’s kids to find out what they wanted.
The result includes slides, swings and a sandpit as well as a miniature village with mock shops, a mock school and even a mock radio station. There’s also giant draughts and snooker for older children to use. East African Playgrounds used recycled materials such as old car tyres, plastic bottles and scrap metal to keep costs down and reduce waste.
In 2000, Kabubbu was in desperate need. It had been devastated by AIDS and malaria. Hundreds of children had been orphaned. There was no health care and little chance of education or employment.
Quicken and its thousands of supporters – most of them in Sussex – have since built schools, a health centre and AIDS clinic and ensured hundreds of children were sponsored through schools. The first of these are now at university or in vocational training.