Kids Around the World was founded in 1994 through the combined efforts of local businessmen under the leadership of Dennis Johnson. Their goal at that time was to provide safe play equipment for children that found themselves in situations where it was difficult to just be a “kid”. So often children find themselves as victims of situations out of their control, they become victims of economic stress, victims of political injustice, victims of natural disasters and worst of all, victims of war. It was for these children that Kids Around the World began.

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Building Playgrounds

On one of our playground builds we had a businessman who asked the question, “Why playgrounds?”. We asked him to wait until the end of the build, and then ask the same question. During the week, he saw a team of individuals from different backgrounds, countries, languages and abilities unite together to work for the children. He noticed the involvement of the local people and their ownership as they talked about “their playground”. Every day children would stop by, point at the pieces of equipment and imagine what it would be like in a few days. Every day more children came, this was a first for them He also noticed the way the community was looking at the partnering organization, the group who brought in the playground. There was a new respect. On Dedication Day, he noticed hundreds of children without much of what this world has to offer, and yet, on this day…they were kids. He noticed the smiles on the faces of moms and dads who try so hard to provide for their children, and yet, today they knew that someone else loved their children, too. And then he noticed blisters on his hands…and he smiled and never asked the question, “Why playgrounds?” again.

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