The generosity of Sussex Express readers has left hundreds of children in a poverty-stricken Ugandan village jumping for joy. And bouncing. And sliding. And swinging.
You got behind an appeal in the Express last December to help Herstmonceux-based charity, the Quicken Trust, raise £10,000 to build a playground in Kabubbu, 20 miles north of the capital, Kampala.
Five months on, the target has been reached and the children have a brand new playground.
Quicken founder Geoff Booker said: “It’s a fantastic achievement. 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 another charity, East African Playgrounds, to build the facility. But first they consulted Kabubbu’s children 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 use recycled materials such as old car tyres, plastic bottles and scrap metal to keep costs down and reduce waste.
Quicken says research has found games involving exploring, creating, problem-solving and learning help to stimulate brain development and helps children develop socially, physically and emotionally.
The playground is the latest in a series of Quicken projects in the village. At the turn of the century, 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 supporters – most of them in Sussex – have transformed the village.
They have built schools, a health centre and AIDS clinic and ensured hundreds of children were sponsored through schools.