Last year World at Play sent a team of volunteers to work for the first time at Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in Uganda. 78,000 refugees live in the settlement, 43,000 of whom are children.
There is limited access to safe water and good sanitation. Food is rationed, the children often come to school thirsty, hungry and tired and everyone has faced trauma and loss. But the children want to play and, through the World at Play games, the uncertainties and the hardships of their lives are replaced by moments of pure joy. Their imagination is expanded, they learn teamwork and communication skills. And as one of the older pupils said last year: “After we play, our minds are more hungry for books and for lessons.”
We are now recruiting another team of volunteers to work in Uganda. The team will receive intensive training in Kampala and will work for six weeks with the children of Rwamwanja.
At the heart of what WAP does is the belief that no child, no matter their background or ability, no matter if they are labelled "refugee" or "orphan" should miss out on their childhood. And nothing is more fundamental to childhood than the joy of play. It is how children learn, it is how they communicate, it helps them grow. Play is vital, and WAP volunteers provide it. Last year, over 7,000 children were involved in sport and play. We expect to involve many more thousands this year.
The project runs from Feb 10th – March 28th.