In the summer of 2015, our organization Play Without Borders was a part of the street festival Kochfest15 – Celebrating 7 days of street democracy – in the slum area Korogoch, in Nairobi, Kenya. During six days me and my team were creating different Play Interventions together with groups of children at an elementary schoolyard in Korogocho. The idea was that with materials found in the are we were going to work together with the children to create new, or enhance existing, play structures. By doing this we are involving children in the descision making process, and create a feeling of responsibility and proud, and an increase sense of participation in their own spaces. During the six days we worked with used car tires, pallets and paint to create a bigger and more active playground and schoolyard. During the project we collaborated with Hoperaisers Korogocho, Architects without borders and Slum architects Nairobi.
In August 2016, we were once again invited to take part in the street festival Kochfest16, in the slum area Korogocho in Nairobi, Kenya. Just like 2015 we collorated with Hoperaisers Korogocho, Architects without borders and Slum architects Nairobi and maybe most important, all the students at Ngunyumu primary school.
Due to the amount of children using the playground (a fantastic proof that our efforts in 2015 was meaningful) from last year, but also due to floodings earlier in the same year, we decided not to build anything new, but to upgrade the existing play facilities. We rebuilt most of it, replaced damaged parts, reinforced other, and repainted everything in beautiful blue and orange colours.
Just like the year before, the finished result, the playground, was just one part of the benefits made through the project. Equally important was the process and the construction itself that we conducted with the children in the area. All the happy moments, the laughs and the smiles, all the meetings, the opportunity to use big brushes and real paint, and the chance to be involved in improving the school environment is an equally important factor when summarizing this project.