Creating a Safe Place to Play
Creating safe playgrounds for children with disabilities and conserving the environment from solid waste was an idea sparked from the community’s assessment for their need to alleviate the dire state of their local environment.
The Global Environment Facility Programme, along with UNDP/ PAPP, funded the “reuse of waste tires to construct safe play areas for children with disabilities’’ project. The Roads and Environment Safety Centre implemented the project, in cooperation with three other community centres around Salfeet in the West Bank.
The project contributed to reducing solid waste and alleviating the resulting environmental hazards. Two thousand dumped tires were used to construct three calm, safe playgrounds for around 400 marginalized children, mainly children with disabilities living in that community. These playgrounds served to provide them with the opportunity to play and interact with their peers and to participate constructively in their community, both essential elements for their psychosocial well being and the promotion of non-violent behaviour.
Furthermore, this project succeeded in raising awareness among children and the wider community about the environmental dangers resulting from the accumulation of waste tires. This awareness raising was accomplished through fun days and ceremonies for the children, including creative activities such as painting the tires and writing environmental slogans on the garden walls.
Moreover, the project has created job opportunities for nine individuals, who are responsible for the general upkeep and maintenance of these playgrounds and ensuring the safety of all children who come to play.