Back in my childhood days, i remember playing with a bunch of kids in my neighborhood in our Barangay’s playground for several hours and it was fun, not until we got older and older and decided it was child’s play.
Giving it a thought, one time i got by the same place and everything didn’t look the same as it was before, the slides, the monkey bars and the swing are already worn out and rusted, good thing is that the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation has started an amazing program which would help communities/barangays to rebuild their playgrounds for kiddos of course, with a twist of nature, using indigenous materials to build and design all things in the playground.
Below is the basic design of a playground using indigenous materials, also please read the Press Release from the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. themselves.
Do you remember running across an open playground, racing with your friends down to the slide, showing off your flexibility at the monkey bar, and squealing with glee as you go up and down the seesaw? No matter how old or recent those days are, those memories of fun and care-free days built at the playground will always remain with you.
This manifests how important playgrounds are in the development and growth of children; these vital structures enhance the players’ motor, problem solving, creativity, and social skills.
For this reason, the Dolores Aboitiz Children’s Fund (DACF) of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) encourages and supports local government units to build child-friendly playgrounds where children can explore and enjoy.
“As much as possible, we want to build play spaces that are zero percent metal. Metals are hard, prone to rust, and a good conductor of heat, making them hazardous and dangerous for children,” engineer Rhea Mae Cuevas of DACF said.
As a solution, DACF builds “indigenous” playgrounds, which are made up of indigenous materials like bamboo, rope and nipa, and recycled objects like tires, old electric poles from the Visayan Electric Company, and rubber tubing from Tsuneishi Heavy Industries, (Cebu) Inc.
“The concept of indigenous playgrounds is based on Playground Ideas, a US-based non-government organization that designs and builds play spaces as a holistic means of improving the well-being of children. They build playgrounds using local sustainable materials,” Cuevas said, recalling that Jon Racek, managing director of Playground Ideas, came to Cebu in September last year to hold a workshop for DACF and various barangays on how to construct an indigenous playground.
Inspired by Playground Ideas and taking into consideration the standards imposed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, DACF produced a design of an indigenous playground for a minimum of 50-square meter area, which already includes a cubby house, seesaw, slides, and swing set, and which strongly focuses on child safety.
“We put holes on the tires so they won’t become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. We also require a six-inch pile of sand as a safe fall zone. Playground facilities need not be expensive. We can make use of indigenous materials that are not just cheaper but a lot safer. They can also be easily maintained and repaired over time,” Cuevas said.
She pointed out that maintenance is just as important as construction, stressing that poor maintenance can put children to risks, such as bruises, scratches, and even serious injuries.
“A playground is not a one-shot construction deal; it requires commitment among the members of the community,” she said, advising local government units with playgrounds to regularly inspect playgrounds for sharp edges, protrusions, and entrapments.
She added that by building and maintaining an indigenous playground in one’s community, we are providing more opportunities for children to play and have fun.
DACF’s playground model can now be seen in day care centers in the barangays of Dumalerio in San Francisco, Camotes; Langub in Asturias; Bulacao in Talisay City; and Pugalo, Alcoy starting this year. These four areas committed to hold a monthly check-up of their playgrounds.
Bulacao in Talisay City was awarded as the most child friendly barangay in the city in 2011 for its collaborative efforts with different stakeholders and leaders in the barangay who worked together to ensure that their programs and facilities benefit their children greatly.
For turnover this year are two playgrounds in Liloan town and another one in Talisay City. These three new indigenous playgrounds are made possible through the support of Vereniging Haarlemmermeer Cebu.
Cuevas pointed out that playgrounds are important learning places for children. It enables children to explore the world on their own terms and bounds.
“Playgrounds enable children to explore the world on their own terms and bounds. It is a symbol of a happy and memorable childhood. It is another place where fun memories are made. To make this place happen, all you need is a concerted effort to gather the community and start planning for and building and maintaining an indigenous playground,” she said. (By Chrisley Ann Hinayas/Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.)
To know more about the Programs of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., kindly visit them at this link: http://www.rafi.org.ph/
Thank you RAFI for this wonderful program of yours, kudos to the foundation and to all it’s Members/Volunteers and Supporters.
Cheers to Life!