There are 17,9 million children living in Uganda: that is the number of residents living in the Netherlands plus one million. Most of the children go to school from eight to five. When they come home they have to contribute , and fulfill their chores/tasks like fetching water, taking care of a younger brother or sister…in essence, they do not have a lot of time to spare.
Added to that is the fact that in most areas, playgrounds or areas for recreation especially for children, do not exist and children have to make their own toys (which also break easily). In Uganda, playing is a luxury, Tjeko wants it to become something that goes without saying – a “matter of fact”. Children should be able to just be children That is why we provide them with a safe place, a sparkling environment, where they can do what they want to do the most: play!
Tjeko – Every child deserves a childhood
Is playing really that important? Shouldn’t other needs like having access to clean drinking water and medical care have priority? Fortunately there are great organizations actively working to promote and fulfill in these needs, however fulfilling a in a child’s need to play is also of great importance and shouldn’t be mislooked. We consulted an expert, the Dutch developmental psychologist Steven Pont:
‘Play stimulates the cognitive, physical, socio-emotional and language development more than any other activity. Children who play a lot are therefore more creative, less stressed, less anxious, more language-proficient and more social. […] So playing is not just simply something. Playing unleashes something within a child. Children will learn better, be more creative and innovative, dare more, and grow into healthier adults if we give them the opportunity to play.