Article 31 of the UN Convention of the Rights of Children (CRC) states that children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities.
Children have the right to play.
But in the far-flung Barangay Salumay in Davao City, children have no access to parks and playgrounds which can only be found in downtown areas or in modern or high-end subdivisions in the city.
Last Dec. 29, 2015, Children’s Joy Foundation (CJF) USA and Children’s Joy Foundation Incorporated (CJFI) Philippines changed all that as they brought playground equipment for over 200 children of 62 households to enjoy. CJF USA funded the equipment while CJFI Philippines set up the playground and sent volunteers to deliver it to the site. The trip took about two hours from the city proper as it rained the day before leaving the road muddy and uneven. Male volunteers covered the deeply uneven roads with sand just so trucks that carry the equipment can pass through. The equipments included a group swing, swing for two, see-saw, basketball set with three balls and volleyball, among others.
Flora, mother of eight children with six still attending school, said: “Nalipay kaayo ko ug dako nga naa nay mga dulaan diri nga nakit-an namo para ang among mga anak malipay sila. Inig human nila ug eskwela, naay madulaan nila (We’re very happy that we now have a new playground for our children. They can now play after their classes).”
She thanked CJF USA, saying, “Dako kaayo akong pasalamat sa inyoha kay gatabang gyud kamo diri sa amoa (Thank you CJF USA for your help).”
Sitio Contract purok leader Jaime, for his part, said he’s happy for Contract residents especially the children.
” Sa akoa ug sa ngalan sa mga katawhan sa Contract, nalipay gyud mi ug dako ug naabot mo dinhi ug dili gyud nako masaysay ang tanang pagpasalamat namo sa inyuha nga naabot mo diri. Ang mga bata nakadula-dula na pud. Sa mga donors sa CJF USA dako gyud ang among pasalamat sa inyuha (On behalf of Sitio Contract, I thank CJF USA and its donors for helping us. We really can’t thank you enough. Now the children can start to play.”
Poots Calzo of CJFI Philippines, meanwhile, said, “A playground is a lasting gift. A child will enjoy it for years. It is like a meeting place for children where they can have fun and play for several hours. You see playing, aside from being therapeutic, gives joy and forms friendships, which completes a child. Giving a playground is providing a basic necessity of joy for a whole community of children.”
She further added, “We would like to thank our colleagues over there at CJF USA for providing us the funds to make a playground like this.”
Indeed, seeing the faces of these children lit with overflowing joy is such a delight to the heart.