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Playgrounds for Aceh: Reconstructing play after the Tsunami

Through a partnership of two nonprofit organizations -- Go Play! (, a nonprofit organization that designs and trains people in the developing world to build playgrounds, and the Social Welfare Office of Aceh Province, Indonesia, representing five small local NGOs -- we propose to construct 50 playgrounds to improve the lives of 10,000 children. These playgrounds will be located throughout Aceh Province, Indonesia, an area devasted by a massive tsunami in 2004. Go Play! will design and train the five local NGOs to build their own playgrounds. These NGOs will be responsible for securing material donations, volunteers, overseeing the actual construction and maintaining the playgrounds upon completion.___________________________________________________________ Through playground construction, Go Play! aims to: ___• Give children access to creative, inspiring playspaces to encourage ingenuity, imagination, problem solving and social skills. ___• Offer resources and training to assist local teachers to use playspaces in the most effective way. ___• Promote the importance of education and educational facilities. Colorful, well-designed playgrounds become sources of pride for children and their parents, and have been shown to increase school attendance and parental engagement. ___• Use a Community Development model. Go Play! works with community volunteers, parents, school staff and the children themselves to build playspaces. We believe the small act of building a community playspace can act as a catalyst for further positive action in the school and community. ____Our focus is on sustainable, long term development; we partner with proven groups to train them how to build and maintain their own playgrounds__________________________________ Funds: $3000 per playground x 10 playgrounds per NGO x 5 NGOs = $150,000; 10% Design Fee = $15,000; Total = $165,000; This total breaks down to $1.65 per child, for the first year of use. ($165,000/10,000 students)

Who is the sponsoring organization?

Go Play! and Social Welfare Office (SWSC) of Aceh Province. Partner_One: Go Play! is a not-for-profit organization that designs and builds playspaces as a holistic means of improving education, health and the well-being of children in the developing world.______________________________________ Successes to date: • Started in 2007, in Mae Sot, Thailand along the Burmese border • Designed and built over 40 playgrounds in Southeast Asia • Benefiting over 7000 students • Equipped another NGO with design plans and trained local staff to build 30 playgrounds in Thailand, Cambodia & Laos in 2010-2011 ___________ Partner_Two: The Social Welfare Service Center (SWSC) is a program within the Social Welfare Office of Aceh Province and has been supported by UNICEF since 2006. The Office’s focus, at the subdistrict level, is the pro-active anticipation and solution of social welfare issues. To this end, they act as an umbrella organizationand helpful thinktank for small local groups. SWSC has existed for two years and has four pilot programs in process. Go Play! and SWSC have communicated with five local groups : ___• COTE Indonesia = An office of Children on the Edge (, a UK-based nonprofit founded by Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop ___• Keep and Care = Organizes and manages community learning centers and programs for disabled children. ___• CC Johan Pahlawan = Establishes and manages elementary schools and helps villages with livelihood training. ___• Aceh Future = Runs a health campaign for youth as well as vocational training. ___• Transisi = Organizes a peace building program for conflict-affected children. ___Each of these local groups has been chosen as potential partners by SWSC due to their past record of success and commitment. Each organization works with multiple schools, orphanages, or youth centers and has negotiated places for these playgrounds to be built. Each organization has committed to building at least 5-10 playgrounds.,

Where will the project be located?

Aceh, Indonesia

Aceh Province, Indonesia. . The playgrounds will be built in various locations (urban/rural) throughout Aceh province. The problem: In the early morning of December 26, 2004, a massive tsunami devastated much of the western coast of Aceh, Indonesia. The region was decimated. It is estimated that 130,000 people were killed and more than half a million displaced. Since that time, reconstruction has mostly focused on infrastructure like housing and other public facilities (hospitals, markets, etc). Schools were rebuilt or constructed but not playgrounds. To prosper, thrive and flourish, children need much more than rote knowledge. They need to generate ideas and experiment with them, to invent new options, to find new solutions. A playground fosters a different type of thinking. Through games and play, children negotiate rules and invent scenarios; they create their own solutions to complex problems. In play, children exercise their bodies and minds, and simply, they have the opportunity to just be kids.

Do facilities at the location need to be constructed or upgraded?

Yes. Yes. 50 playgrounds will be built. The proven process of building a playground is a partnership between the school /community, the local NGO and Go Play! Each party has its role to play: the community is responsible for contributing volunteers and materials; the NGO is responsible for overseeing the construction process; and Go Play! contributes the design, the training and part of the funding. After construction, the playground is left fully in the hands of the principal and school and the overseeing NGO. We supply the school with advice on rules, scheduling and maintenance.

Are any further architectural or design services required?

Yes. Go Play! will design the playgrounds as well as provide training to the local groups for their construction. We will conduct one to two training sessions at a central location for all the local groups to be trained. Go Play! will provide support and oversight during the construction process. Design: The playground will be designed in consultation with the school to meet their needs. While we have a basic playground design, we consider each playground as part of a unique process of improvement to meet the needs of its users and that particular site. Materials: Materials are locally sourced, affordable and replaceable. We utilize reused and sustainable materials whenever possible. Labor: We work with and train local labor, and strive to include teachers, parents, local artists and even students. We build using only common hand and power tools, so all parts can be replaced at low cost by local labor.

Would this project benefit from the assistance of construction professionals?