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May 13, 2005

Rehabilitation through play: USAID and Sarvodaya to develop playgrounds for tsunami-affected children



May 11, 2005. In partnership with USAID and the American Jewish Distribution Committee, Sarvodaya will develop 100 playgrounds in all 13 tsunami-affected districts in Sri Lanka. After the tsunami, the loss of community infrastructure has deprived children of safe and protected places to play. Child psychologists have demonstrated that the opportunity to play is a significant factor in the recovery of mental well-being for children traumatized by the disaster. This project will restore access to safe and quality places to play for children living in coastal Sri Lanka, thereby promoting their physical and emotional recovery and growth.

In addition to constructing the playgrounds, this project will establish partnership agreements with district-level authorities and NGOs to maintain the playgrounds. The project will also utilize the highest quality playground equipment that meets or surpasses international standards of safety and quality. Today, a visiting group from the two partner organizations visited Sarvodaya’s metal workshop, which could potentially build the equipment for the playgrounds. Sarvodaya’s metal workshop provides training and employment to underprivileged youth.

Sarvodaya is excited to work with USAID and AJDC on this important and innovative project that we hope will bring much joy to thousands of children in tsunami-affected regions.

Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement for the People in Need.