Inspiring Leaders – Play Action Award Winners
Inspiring Workplaces recognises inspiring leadership during the pandemic. Play Action International is delighted to announce that staff have won not one, but two awards!
Murielle Maupoint, Play Action International’s CEO has won an Inspiring leaders award, recognising her inspiring leadership during the pandemic. Murielle is thrilled, she said,
“It’s been a super tough year but I am blessed to work with an incredible group of people in the UK and Uganda who are passionately committed to what Play Action International stand for and what we do. Together, we have dug deep…we have innovated & pivoted & played, we have cried and laughed. 12 months on from the start of the pandemic and we are still driving forwards with the same resolve because we ALL believe in the amazing future of this very special organisation. A huge thanks to my team, trustees, our supporters and the wonderful children we serve. You inspire me. EVERY day!“
Jack Butterfield, Fundraising and Partnerships Manager at Play Action International has also won an inspiring leaders award. Jack said,
“I work with an incredible team of staff who have been supportive and understanding, creating this fantastic positive, can-do energy which is a joy to be around. Not to mention as well as dedicated, passionate student leaders, volunteers and supporters who all share an unrivalled amount of commitment and passion to the work we do.”
We want to congratulate Murielle and Jack for their incredible achievements!
Improving School Attendance Through Play
Play Action International recently partnered with the World We Want Foundation and the Nasio Trust to install exciting and safe playgrounds, hand-washing facilities and deliver play training to schools, Early Childhood Development Centres and a local hospital in Kenya.
The aim of the programme was to encourage children to attend school and to help teachers integrate play into their teaching to maximise learning outcomes. At the end of 2020, and in just 9 days, after working with a wonderful workforce from the local community, 5 playgrounds were constructed and were ready to be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
As part of the playground building process, a community sensitisation project was undertaken, highlighting the importance of the playgrounds to teachers and social workers, as well as healthcare professionals. All those who attended the training sessions, learned how to use the playgrounds to improve children’s learning experiences.
As well as the playground builds, the installation of hand-washing facilities have resulted in hundreds of children and community members being able to use these to help protect them against COVID-19.
The programme has seen some incredible outcome in the weeks since it was implemented including significant involvement from many members of local communities, from the building stage to now – meaning the local population want to make use of the new facilities as they can see the benefits, including an increased rate of school attendance.
As a result of these successes, the programme has seen a call for more training for other community members, as well as more playgrounds and hand-washing facilities which could all benefit other disadvantaged children and provide further employment opportunities for additional communities.
All Grown Up – Introducing Play Action International, Formerly East African Playgrounds!
A small UK-based international development charity, East African Playgrounds has not been immune to the effects of COVID-19 and experienced a dramatic 95% fall in its fundraising income within weeks of the UK lockdown coming into effect. Many charities experiencing a similarly devastating drop in income chose to batten down the hatches to attempt to ride out the storm. No stranger to rising to a challenge in the face of adversity, East African Playgrounds drew on its experience of working in complex operating environments and took a wholly different and refreshing approach. The forward plan, supported by the board and external advisors, was to – embrace the challenges brought on by the pandemic and use the situation as an opportunity to swiftly re-invent itself.
Murielle Maupoint, CEO of Play Action International explained: “We do so much more than build playgrounds in East Africa. We create safe spaces and opportunities to bring play into children’s lives. We have proved that play-based initiatives can increase school enrolment and attendance, reduce dropouts, reduce child labour, heal trauma and provide children with the foundations to live a fuller life. Yet our name put us in a very niched pigeonhole which prevented the world from fully appreciating the breadth of the incredible services and products we offer, and the importance of play in children’s lives. If we were going to survive this pandemic, I knew that we needed to strategically and tactically contemporise our identity to truly reflect who we are and what we do and accelerate the implementation of our new programmes.”
We are extremely proud to launch the newly named Play Action International. Resplendent in its bold and contemporary new look, the re-brand team has been preparing a range of internal and external communications and a plethora of digital materials. These will ensure that our brand values and image are cohesively linked for those who are yet to learn about the work of the organisation, while being sure not to overlook all our supporters and partners who have been so loyal to East African Playgrounds over the last 10+ years.