Playground Ideas, Finalists: Not-for-Profit Technology Innovator of the Year ?
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Samoa is located in Falelauniu, a village south and inland of the capital Apia. Among other projects here at our site, we have a school called the Learning Center for the children in the surrounding villages who cannot afford an education. After the tsunami and cyclone hit last year many of the coastal villagers moved to Falelauniu for fear of the ocean, painful memories, and lost livelihoods. Many of these families lost everything they owned. As there is no playground in the Falelauniu Village (nor anywhere else in Samoa besides our one McDonalds), we would like to build a play area in which the local children can safely play. Currently we have an open field which we use for soccer and rugby; however, it is not level, there are holes, hills, and jagged rocks sticking out of the ground, etc. We also have a slightly cleared area with a volleyball net, but again it is very uneven and full of rocks. This is currently a site where many young people come to engage in sports and there is always danger of injuries because of the rough terrain. This area is used primarily by older youth. We would like to create a space where the younger children can play safely. We currently have a basic slide, seesaw, and swing set, but they are old and not very safe. The playground is on our property, but we will use it as a way to reach out to the community around us. Anyone will be welcome; although, it will primarily be used by the children attending the Learning Center. The main target area would be school age children (ages 5-18) who are attending the Learning Center-approximately 50 children. We hope that by having a playground, it will draw in younger members of the community as well as mothers. One of the ministries and visions of YWAM Samoa is renewable energy and sustainable resources. We are predominately self-sustaining. We train young people in construction, renewable energy, community development, basic skills, etc. YWAM is outward focused and desires to see communities transformed and to meet the needs of the people in surrounding areas. As such, we desire to make this playground from the resources we have available to us as well as train the young people here in the necessary skills required to build a playground so that they can go out and reproduce it elsewhere.