The idea of Team Playground was born in 2012 in Brufut, Gambia during the construction of the Bege 1 Playground as part of the Brufut Education Project. We were building the playground with a brilliant crew of people made up of Local and European women and men who every now and then would get over excited and shout “team playground”.
We are dedicated to providing safe, exciting and educational play for young people of all ages. We aim to give the opportunity for learning, creating and exploring, and to play together in an interesting and challenging environment. We are committed to including the young people in the building process so they can learn skills and enjoy the end product with the knowledge that they have participated in its creation.
These playgrounds and play features built with and for local young people in Western Region and beyond; incorporating lessons to enable safe tool use and good building skills; are annually maintained. They are located in Brufut, Ziguinchor, Dimbaya and Njau with a plan to build in Gunjur.
We strongly believe in Article 31 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child that : Every child has a right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
We have been working with the children of Brufut for the last 8 years; we have a crew of very talented young people who already have some building skills and a good knowledge of using the tools. We aim to keep on training.
In 2017 we went legit and became an official non for profit organisation in Gambia and 2020 we have just formed a partnership with the Ministry of Education by creating a Memerandum of Understanding which links us for the next three years.
Our current dream is to have some land on which to build a secular youth and community centre with playground promoting equality, empowerment and self confidence for the people to grow, develop and shine. It will incorporate a vitally needed skills centre; be self sufficient and sustainable.
We strongly believe in solidarity not charity and therefore hope that a Gambian playground build crew will one day operate independently from us.
We welcome people to join the build crew and/or run art, craft or sports workshops .
Alongside the build we run different workshops eg Animation making and Circus skills.
We organise regular games and sport days.
We have inter community football matches.
We do trips to the beach or other available group activity places such as the monkey park.
Every year we put on an International Womens Day event (everyone is welcome ) which includes an all Female football match, dance competitionsand music. An Empowering and useful talks/ workshop presented by WIG (Womens Initiative in Gambia) is a invaluable inclusion to the day which the girls and woman of Brufut rave about and look forward to. We are now forging more links with WIG in order to create a youth team of environmentalists in the making – Brufut area – who will connect with a similar team in Njau.
We support the following local schools and organisations through donations from UK with a policy of re-use and recycle: J and M Roots Madiana, Lift Gambia Brufut, Sir Dembo Nursery1 Kunkujang, Womans Initiative in Gambia, Njau Recycling project, Reforest the Future, Time for Change Gunjur.