In collaboration with Centro Quesadhip Ruak NGO, Playpoint has donated playground equipment to a primary school in Dili, East Timor. We are glad to see the children enjoying their new playground!
Timor Leste gained independence in 2002, becoming the first new sovereign state of the 21st century and in 2011, it became the eleventh member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Despite this, their economic growth remains slow compared to their neighbours and the country is still dealing with the aftermath of the 1999 East Timorese crisis, a series of violence that most heavily devastated the capital Dili in East Timor.
As such, many public facilities and educational institutions are in less than ideal condition, and much external help is required for them to be rebuilt and refurbished. We were glad to partner with Centro Quesadhip Ruak to donate a small playground to a primary school in Dili— one of two projects we did in East Timor, the other being with HIAM Health rehabilitation centre for malnourished children. Through these projects, we hope to bring joy and hope to the community.
We believe that regardless of circumstance, children should be granted the right to play, even more so when playing is an integral part of education. Education is key for impoverished nations to progress, and it starts by investing in children so that the next generation of leaders are capable and good. Schools should not be a place that children dread going to; they should be safe spaces for children to learn and play, make friends, and grow. We want to cultivate a hunger for learning and a culture where creativity is welcome and encouraged.
We were stoked to learn that the playground was well received by the children. One on hand, we see this as an important investment in their education. On the other hand, it is also space for them to be themselves and simply play and be happy like children should. The playground can also be a place for the young students to apply social and language skills that they learnt in the classroom, in a real-life setting, such as settling disputes in the playground and leading their peers. Most of all, it makes the learning experience fun and exciting.
Children are the future, and we hope that by contributing to the social, intellectual, and emotional development of the children of East Timor, we can indirectly help to produce capable leaders for a better tomorrow. We are always grateful for opportunities to serve underprivileged communities and no matter how small or big, we help however we can.