Newly Shaded Playground Brings Fun & Fitness to Kids in Haiti!
It’s high noon on another sun-soaked, 95-degree day in Haiti, and the playground is packed.
Three-year-old Richie puts on his sunglasses and hops behind the wheel of a metal toy car. His classmates are going crazy today- jumping off benches, flying off the spinning wheel, dangling from the jungle gym. Richie’s never seen anything like this before, and he can't stop smiling, laughing, and playing under the shade of the canopy.
He's not alone. Back in 2014, the Hotes Foundation opened a daycare in the Lake Azuei mud-hut village, providing an air-conditioned structure that cares for the village's 55 children, ages 0-3, from Monday-Friday, every week. Not only does the locally-hired staff watch the children to allow parents to pursue an education and career, but they also feed the kids breakfast, teach them speech and writing skills, organize activities, and track each child's health from an early age on. Additionally, the staff meets with the parents on a weekly basis to discuss their children, providing advice on hygiene, health, and good behavior skills to teach them outside of class. All of these steps encourage the children’s personal growth and help to prepare them adequately for school and life.
But what’s a daycare without a healthy dose of recess? Seeking to bring physical activity to the children, last week Hotes Foundation volunteers built a brand new playground, along with a 20' x 20' WeatherPort Canopy to give it shade from the scorching Haitian sun.
“We put in play equipment that the children love,” said Michael, a Hotes Foundation volunteer, “And the canopy and colorful fence make it a safe place for them to play outside.”
We are happy to report that the children who’ve graduated from the daycare are excelling in every walk of life, from performing better in school to receiving the best ticket of health around!