Here are Tom and Carla, who were in church with us last week
They were with us to give an update on their work with East African Playgrounds, the charity they started 4 years ago.This is their story…
Tom [who grew up in our village, in the house right opposite the church] went to Leeds University to study Social Policy [and in between times he worked at his father’s building firm.] In 2007 Tom went to Tanzania as a volunteer to teach adults English, but when he realised they had a better grasp than him, his attention turned to the children who struggled to pay attention in class, were bored and getting into trouble after school with nowhere safe to play. Tom decided to create a basic play spaces with the children; painting hop scotch squares and making a toy car track on the floor. The joy this brought the children got Tom to thinking more about play so after a walk through the nearby town he found a playground that he could take the children to, Tom asked the designer if he could use his designs of the playground to build one at the school. With his building knowledge Tom set about planning to come back the following year to build his first playground.
Carla’s degree was in Childhood, Education and Culture and a background of child development and Play work. She met Tom in 2007. Tom’s plan to build a playground in Tanzania caught Carla’s imagination as she was about to travel to Uganda that summer to volunteer with a charity.
They set up EAP, and started a programme of playground building in Uganda – small at first, but growing into something much bigger…
The rest, as they say, is history – except it isn’t ‘history’ – it is happening now, an ongoing, vibrant project. On Sunday they shared much of this with us.
It was really exciting to hear how the work has developed – and how many volunteers have gone out to build playgrounds for children in Uganda. So far EAP has
- Built 20 Playgrounds
- Given over 7,500 kids fun, safe play spaces to enjoy
- Invested over £170,000 in East Africa
- Employed 12 full-time Ugandan members of staff
- Started training 2 young welding apprentices
- Brought over 120 volunteers from UK
Graham and David, two of our Church members, have been Trustees of the charity since the beginning, and given much wise advice along the way. As a fellowship, we have supported EAP with prayers and financial gifts. Do check out the website if you want to know more!