Playschemes: making childhoods happy

If you’re not convinced by the importance of play, have you ever considered why parents rush to send their young children to play schools (kindergartens)?

It’s because play is central to their work.

Play makes children happy - most of us have life-long memories of playing our favourite games when we were young. Playing provides an opportunity for children to make friends and learn from others while developing their communication and coordination skills. It encourages children to become independent, gaining confidence along the way.

Sadly, we know that disabled children have fewer opportunities to play. They are severely restricted because many games exclude their participation and facilities are designed that are inaccessible and inadequate. 

Also, most parents can take a break from their responsibilities when their children are playing with friends. For a short period of time, they can put their feet up (or more likely do all the other tasks they haven’t got around to doing)! Yet, parents of disabled children are far less likely to get the rest they need…

In Africa, things are even harder.

Due to negative traditional beliefs, disabled people are considered non-human and cursed. This leads to the isolation of disabled children, who are often locked away, sometimes even chained up.

Our Playschemes immediately end a disabled child’s isolation! Suddenly, disabled young people begin to make friends and they now belong to a loving community. 

Through play, a child’s impairment can drastically improve thanks to the skills they develop. On a recent play day, our Playworkers were delighted to see a girl with severe learning difficulties communicating so well. It was thanks to being in a fun, educational environment. Instances like this also change attitudes - non-disabled individuals share positive experiences with disabled young people and start to be more inclusive. 

Finally, playschemes give parents the opportunity to engage with and change their expectations of their child, as well as providing much needed respite. 

Thanks to play, a life of exclusion becomes a future of inclusion.

For a disabled child, play equals progress.  It costs just £1.94 for a disabled child to attend our playscheme.

Can you support a child at our playscheme for 3 days? Please give a life-changing gift of £5.82 today!

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