Project information

Play for Half A Million!

Help us give HALF A MILLION children in East Africa access to a safe and fun place to play, by our 10th anniversary in 2020.
With your help, we will build on what we've already achieved, expanding our play programme in refugee settlements and deprived communities across Uganda.

January 2018 - December 2019

Charity information: East African Playgrounds

East African Playgrounds logo
  • Need


    Play is vital for children’s learning, wellbeing and healthy brain development – the UN even includes the right to play in its Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    But, in communities across East Africa, play isn't seen as a priority by adults, and children spend their time helping with chores or looking for work instead. In school, ineffective 'rote' teaching methods are used, and children don't get the chance to learn through play. Existing play facilities are poor quality and unsafe.


    Across Uganda, we are creating conditions where play can flourish:
    • providing children in communities with fun, high quality, sustainable and child-centred playgrounds
    • training teachers in the importance of play as part of the school curriculum
    • training communities in the importance of play for children’s development, learning and wellbeing

    Children will get the chance to have fun, relax and enjoy their childhoods, as well as improving their wellbeing, social and physical skills.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To give half a million children the chance to play by 2020!


    » We will work in refugee settlements, giving child refugees the chance to recover through play and have fun, working with UNICEF & Plan International.
    » We will expand our work in deprived communities across Uganda, including in communities affected by violence in Karamoja and Uganda's north.

    What success will look like

    On average, 1,500 children benefit in each community where we deliver our play programme, allowing us to easily assess whether we have met our goal by 2020.

  • Impact


    Through our programme, children will get the chance to relax, have fun and make the most of their childhoods. Children will also improve their learning, social and physical skills and increase their wellbeing. For refugee children, play will help them recover from the trauma they've experienced.
    Schools will also see an increase in attendance and enrolment after playgrounds are installed.
    We use our in depth baseline and post-project monitoring and evaluation process to assess our impact.


    East African Playgrounds holds a regularly updated detailed risk register of potential risks to our work and mitigation strategies.

    To give us the best chance of reaching our target of half a million children by 2020, we have set interim funding targets as well as targets for number of playgrounds installed. Progress against targets is logged after work in each community. If we find we are behind schedule, we will aim to increase our output (subject to funds being available).


    Please tick 'yes' to further contact when you donate, so we can keep you up to date with the progress of our Play for Half A Million appeal and our other work in the future. We will also keep our website and social media updated with the progress of the appeal.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £200,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £100,000 Refugee play programmes Delivery of our play programme in Uganda's refugee settlements
      £100,000 Community play programmes Delivery of our programme in Ugandan communities
  • Background


    Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world - almost half of the population is under 15, meaning huge demands are placed on schools, with crowded classes and poor facilities. 8 million children live in poverty, so must spend their time helping with chores or looking for work.
    Uganda also hosts over 1 million refugees who have fled the violence in South Sudan, mainly in settlements in the north. Many of the refugees are children, often traumatised by their experiences.


    Three groups will benefit specifically from this project. Delivery of our programme in deprived Ugandan communities will give children the chance to enjoy their childhood and relax. For refugee children living in settlements close to the border with South Sudan, our programme will mean children can use play to recover from the trauma they've faced.
    The project will also benefit young disadvantaged adults who will benefit from employment and training through our employability programmes.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    East African Playgrounds has been working in Uganda since 2009, and our programme has been developed in consultation with communities. Our playgrounds follow international safety standards and are sustainable, using recycled and local materials. Our play training runs alongside our playgrounds and ensures holistic impact. We have a transparent and effective monitoring and evaluation process involving baseline and post-project monitoring so we can clearly assess the difference we are making.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Carla Gill

    Carla founded East African Playgrounds in 2009 along with Tom. Carla and Tom will be responsible for overseeing the Play for Half A Million appeal.

    Tom Gill

    Tom founded East African Playgrounds in 2009 along with Carla. Carla and Tom will be responsible for overseeing the Play for Half A Million appeal.

    David Spencer

    David is our Ugandan Director and is responsible for ensuring the successful implementation of our programmes in schools and refugee settlements.

    Suzie Rees

    Suzie is the Fundraising Manager at East African Playgrounds, and is your first point of contact for any questions on the appeal or our wider work.

Watch our #playforhalfamillionvideo


could pay for a slide as part of a playground!

‘I travelled to this settlement with my two younger brothers. It took us five days. We are pleased to see a place where we can play and meet different children.'

Young South Sudanese refugee, Bidibidi refugee settlement, Uganda