September 2023 |

Ubuntu Kids Trip to Under The Sea Indoor Playground

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As summer draws to a close, we here at Ubuntu thought it would be such an amazing experience if we could take some of our classes to an indoor gaming center called Under the sea in Nairobi. For those who don't live in Kenya, it is very Much like Dave and Busters or Chuck e Cheese. For the first round of trips we took our Busy bees and our Precious gems for this unforgettable experience. Some children have never left our small Community here in Maai Mahiu let alone have an experience like this. We chose Under The Sea because it offers a variety of activities that allow all of our kids to feel stimulated and learn some things along the way. This was also a place where even our kids that are differently abled and in a wheelchair were able to enjoy themselves as well, even going down the slides with assistance from our staff and teachers. Why was this so important to us? We looked at the Early Childhood Learning Hub and it came to us just how important play can be to early childhood development.Play allows children to learn how to control their actions, become increasingly more coordinated and make learning their own. There was this wonderful sand pit which would use colors to show the different topography of the sand. It was amazing to see our kids so excited and eager to understand how that works and what it means. Play also helps with self regulation, something we emphasize here at Ubuntu and problem solving capacities. These are all fundamental skills we want to impart onto our children. According to a study done by the Child Wellness Institute, sustained, moderate-to-severe play deprivation during the first 10 years of life appears to be linked to poor early child development, later leading to depression, difficulty adapting to change, poorer self-control, and a greater tendency to addiction as well as fragile and shallower interpersonal relationships. This is why we try to emphasize such activities within our kids, however it is not without its challenges as well. The park we went to has an entrance fee of 1000 Ksh. or roughly eight dollars. This means that if an average Kenyan who earns 2 dollars a day wants to experience this they must fork over a walloping week's salary for a few hours of play. This as you can imagine is quite untenable as there are other things that parents must cater for and parts to children who are differently abled especially. Like I also stated earlier some of our kids have never left our hometown this is because of our second biggest challenge, transportation. Public transportation in Kenya is still years, maybe decades away from accommodating those who are differently abled and as such travel over long distances (the park was 2 hours from Ubuntu) are next to impossible for our parents. We hope with your help to be able to overcome these obstacles to ensure that our kids are not only able to grow, but grow to their full potential.



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