We Play and Public Space Network work together to build great open spaces in Nairobi
There is a rising demand for cleaner, safer and greener public spaces in Nairobi and other urban areas in Kenya. City planners and designers all know by now that these public spaces are a key component to the success of healthy cities. However due to different reasons, the city administration is slow in creating these needed public spaces. Therefore citizens of especially poorer neighborhoods in Nairobi joined forces a few years ago to transform by themselves neglected open spaces into small parks, play areas for children, court yards, walkways, river banks etc.
Public Space Network (PSN) is a Nairobi-based organization that promotes clean, green, vibrant and safe cities and connects citizens and their communities with builders, designers and other experts by initiating the so-called Changing Faces Competition (CFC). By helping to transform Nairobi PSN hopes to transform the lives of its citizens in a positive way.
The idea behindCFCis to support the neighborhoods in their efforts to transform the open areas into clean, green and safe community spaces. Different communities are invited to use all their creativity and community spirit to compete with each other for the most beautiful open space. The best initiatives will be shortlisted and nominated for awards.
After 4 successful editions of CFC mobilizing over 4.000 participants who transformed over 200 spaces and positively impacted more than 200.000 users of public spaces, CFC is scaling up further. In the 5th edition CFC will emphasize the capacity-building dimension of the participating teams.
CFC consists of two phases: In the first phase, which started in October 2020, any community group is invited to participate and initiate the transformation of a public open space using their creativity and locally available low-cost material. At the end of this phase, foreseen for the end of December 2020, a selection is made of the 5 best performing teams. In the second phase these best performing teams will be closely accompanied by PSN to uplift their transformations into real masterpieces. Mentors, such as public space experts and urban planners, will support with advise and training this creative process and other partners will help search for seed funding.
Teams can compete in different categories based on the type of spaces they choose to transform. One of them is the Most child-friendly space, where teams attempt to create a safe space that is enjoyable for children to play on, relax, learn and interact with each other and overall creates an enabling environment for children. Check out this video presenting the winner of the Most child-friendly space award from the 4th edition of the Changing Faces Competition.
The goals of the Changing Faces Competition perfectly fit We Play’s objective to contribute to harmonious and sustainable communities by supporting green and safe play areas for children. Therefore We Play fully supports the competition, especially the creation of the most child-friendly space.
If you are also excited about the competition, you can help us by giving your support and make a donation. We Play will use your donation to help realize the most child-friendly place in Nairobi.
You can send your donation to We Play’s account NL77TRIO0338602372.
More information about the Changing Faces Competition:
Today is national ‘Play outside’ day here in the Netherlands! Coincidentally, yesterday was also the official opening of the playground and library at Regent, Sierra Leone, by Playground Foundation! We wanted to share some pictures of this colourful event with you. The event was attended by members of the Regent community, the St. Charles’ church and representatives of other official authorities, including the Sierra Leone Football Association.
Unfortunately, the playground is still closed due to the Corona crisis, however the library will open for a small number of children: three or four at a time are allowed to come and read books.
We also have exciting new plans ahead: the next project as part of the playground will be the growing of the flower garden. The children of the Regent community will be actively involved in it.
Best wishes from the We Play team,
Gerda, Ralph, Laura & Arjan
The COVID-19 crisis has undoubtedly had profound repercussions on countries worldwide, with most of them entering some form of lockdown. Individuals, households, and companies have seen their freedom of movement limited, and schools have closed.
This is quite problematic for a country like Sierra Leone, where children often don’t have access to books and other material to support their schooling and education. During these uncertain times, it is vital that children can keep learning and developing.
The library’s playground in Regent, a project that We Play supports, is already well under way and still needs a few touch ups before it can be finished, and ready to welcome a limited number of children at a time. We Play sees a wonderful opportunity amidst these difficult times to offer young children of the community a safe haven to read, learn, and play, as their school have shut down.
Any donation will help towards finishing the construction of the library, you can donate either directly via our IBAN or via geef.nl*.
We kindly thank everyone for all the support We Play has received, and hope everyone stays safe and healthy.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet fully understood yet. It also affects the work of We Play. Currently our partner organization in Sierra Leone, Playground Foundation, is not able to finish the construction of the Regent playground due to measures taken by the government to contain the spread of the virus. We wish our partners and all involved in the playground in Sierra Leone to remain safe and healthy.
There are almost no playgrounds in Africa, especially in the fast-growing cities, and children have almost no place to play safely. Busy traffic, construction works and urban pollution create a high-risk environment for vulnerable groups such as children.
We Play supports the construction of playgrounds in the West African country of Sierra Leone. Thanks to the efforts of We Play’s local partner, Playground Foundation, a portion of land has been obtained in Regent, just outside the capital of Freetown. The construction of the playground has started with local support in the form of small contributions, free materials and volunteers.
The existence of such a safe and accessible playground in Sierra Leone is unique. In addition to playground equipment, there will also be a soccer field, a botanical garden and a library. Playground Foundation and the Regent community will manage and maintain the playground.
We Play is a non-profit organization that aims to support local initiatives for the development and construction of safe play areas in Africa and elsewhere in the world. In our view, every child deserves a place to play safely and enjoy their childhood.
So far, most of the work has been done by our partner organization in Sierra Leone. However, this is not yet enough. We Play is committed to help finishing the construction of the playground this year. Support is very welcome. Contributions are used for the further construction and designing the playground, and the construction of the library, as well as the training of the playground caretakers and the librarian. Donations can be transferred to NL77TRIO0338602372.
Playing outside in Africa? It shouldn’t be a problem, you may think. Children can play everywhere. Or not? Playgrounds are anything but self-evident. In Africa there are hardly any safe play areas. Rapid urbanization in many parts of the continent poses many risks, especially for vulnerable groups such as children living in poorer areas, because of the dangerous traffic, bustle, pollution and other hazards.
Currently We Play gives its support to the construction of a playground in the West African country Sierra Leone. Thanks to the efforts of We Play’s local partner, Playground Foundation, land already has been acquired in Regent, just outside the capital, Freetown. With small donations, free of charge materials and help from volunteers the design and construction of the playground has started as well. The playground will be first in its kind in Sierra Leone, and will include play equipment, a soccer field, a garden and a library. The playground will be maintained by the Regent community and Playground Foundation.
We Play supports the realization of the playground’s library. We have already sent 160 English-language children books and are now looking for donations to finish the construction of the library building. If you would like to support us, you can make a donation. It will be much appreciated by the children of Regent and our Sierra Leonean partners. Please send your donation to: NL77TRIO0338602372.
The location of the future playground at Regent, Sierra Leone