After months of planning and working with the local community, the much anticipated playground for Rubavu I Primary School was constructed in July of 2012.
With a grant from Dr. Ed Kellerman and funds from Heal the World, both of the University of Florida, as well as through the generosity of many donors, the playground project was ready to get started. We hired a local engineer who spent three weeks constructing the equipment with local materials. On the day that the concrete footers were dry, a formal and joy-filled ribbon cutting ceremony that included many thanks from the school and local officials made it clear that RSF had made a good choice with this project.
The children ran happily towards the three seesaws, two slides and eight swings gifted to their school. Most students, if not all, had never seen a slide nor had the opportunity to play on a swingset. As you might imagine, this gift brought tremendous excitement to the children. In a very short time, they had become masters of each piece of equipment that now was a part of their school life experience.
At the Rubavu I Primary school there are approximately 2000 students and 25 teachers. Students attend one of the two shifts held each day. Students in the afternoon shift come to school in the morning. They often wait on the grounds along with children who are unable to attend school due to financial shortcomings. The needs are many. One primary request made by the school during our 2011 visit was for a playground for the students.
Having a playground enables the children to occupy their waiting time and play time with constructive, cooperative play as well as with developmentally important activities. In addition, the playground assists teachers in maintaining the health, safety, and location of the children.
Over 50 children of Rubavu I are now in school due to funds from RSF loans that paid for their uniforms and books at a cost of $25.00 USD per child.