Peace Corps Builds Playgrounds in Suriname
When we think of foreign aid typically images of medical supplies, crates of food, mosquito nets, or digging wells come to mind. All of which are intensely important, however the Peace Corps is also working to help the youth of these poverty-stricken areas to retain something just as important; their childhoods.
Virginia native Katherine Sullivan is a volunteer living in Suriname where she is working on a project to a build a playground in her local area. “This project is part of an effort to provide the children of my community with safer and more structured after school activities,” Sullivan says, “Children often play with found objects such as nails, rocks, old car parts, and razor blades in locations that have a variety of natural and man-made physical hazards.” The new playground will be built in a central area where the children can be supervised and located out of harms way.
Additional aspects of the Suriname playground project include the opening of a brand new day care center this month, the construction of new water tanks, and the introduction of UNICEF’s illustrated hand-washing guides in the local school in order to encourage safe hygiene practices.
While the basic necessities of food, water, shelter and healthcare are all important, it is just as crucial to provide for a child’s developmental welfare. Having a safe space to play does just that, while also helping to cut down on potential injuries and other dangers that can come from growing up in an unsafe environment.