Renovation of the Child Focus playground in Windwardside.
SABA–The playground of Child Focus Foundation playground was damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. To ensure that children can enjoy outside play as soon as possible, Child Focus started a renovation project. The new playground equipment was selected with the help of drawings made by a group of children.
The playground is an important element of Child Focus in Windwardside. Even when there are no activities at Child Focus, the playground remains accessible for all children to enjoy.
In the past, the Child Focus building belonged to Roman-Catholic nuns, who led a school for the children in Windwardside. After they left, Ronald Johnson bought the property and declared that the building had to be used for the children of Saba.
Child Focus organises a wide variety of activities at different locations for more than 100 children between the ages of four and 18 years old.
“This way we ensure that this [Johnson’s – Ed.] wish is fulfilled,” said Programme Manager Caroline Teeuwen.
A local construction company was “eager to take on the job as they are well experienced, more innovative in their ideas and had precision, as well as being affordable,” said Teeuwen.
“The enjoyment of play and safety were the important factors for the selection of play equipment, together with the wishes of the children,” she told Caribbean Network web-based news outlet.
The playground equipment was purchased from a well-known Dutch company that offered professional and architectural advice about the layout and safety guidelines.
The main goal of the playground is to provide a safe, litter-free environment for children to play in. This is actually quite a challenge, since the place is littered with empty beer bottles, plastic wrappers and cigarette buds.
Child Focus teaches environmental awareness by encouraging children to bring water bottles to activities that can be refilled.
Community contributions are “highly” appreciated, Teeuwen said. “Parents can organise children to carpool, parental supervision is needed and abiding by the new rules, such as the smoke-free zone, no pets and no littering, is valued.”
Some of the plants in the playground, such as bougainvillaea, will be removed by the Agricultural Department of the Public Entity of Saba, since these plants are deemed not safe for a playground due to their thorns or poison.
Child Focus has requested to have slips made of these plants and to have them relocated to other areas on the island.
Donations in the form of non-poisonous flower plants and grass mats are welcome, as well as community members with gardening knowledge who would like to donate their time to help with the beautification of the surroundings.
The playground renovation has been made possible by donations. The grand opening of Child Focus’ new playground will be announced in April.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/72780-child-focus-starts-renovation-of-windwardside-playground