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PLAYING WITHOUT ANYTHING?
CHILDHOOD INSTEAD OF CHILDHOOD MARRIAGE
Malawi is one of the poorest and less developed countries worldwide. There is a lack of educational institutions, the illiteracy rate is high. It is common sense, that marrying early is better for girls than education. Childhood marriage is still a frequent practice. We set a sign for the importance of education and childhood and build a playground for the recently opened TAWUKA Kindergarden. Local children, young adults and craftsmen are involve in the project.
Arriving in Malawi we find a building, children and pedagogues, but nothing else. Not a single piece of furniture, not the smallest toys is to be found. Daily highlight for the children: a bus passing the street every few hours which is celebrated with laughter and clapping.
Within seven days our group of nine volunteers reached the project goal and even more: building two playareas together with the locals. One for smaller children consisting of a huge stonewalled sandpit, a swing, playhouse, climbing structure and a birds nest. The second area is for the larger kids and a little more adventurous: the treehouse can be reached by a climbing structure and can be left through a wooden slide. Wooden benches provide the opportunity for a little break or nap in the shadow for the mothers and grandmothers that are coming over to the fountain to collect water or do the laundry. Highlight for the kids: the huge seesaw for around 25 children at the same time.
After finishing the playground works we constructed simple toys out of natural or cheap materials: stalks, hobbyhorses, skipping ropes, a wooden digger, wooden building bricks... In case these toys break or the kindergarden would like to use more of them, the locals can easily produce more at little cost.
Project has been financially supported by (among others):
Ein Herz für Kinder