If play is such a luxury, why do people in conflict zones believe in its power? This is the central question posed by our CEO Darell Hammond in his most recent Huffington Post piece. Here in the United States, as park budgets across the country are getting slashed and recess periods are being eliminated, our country's decision makers send a clear message that play is optional.
And yet, thousands of miles away, communities fragmented by conflict and violence are pooling resources to build... playgrounds. Darell says:
The fact is, children will find ways to play, no matter where they are or under what circumstances they live... We aren't just failing our children when we don't bother to invest in safe outdoor playspaces; we're also failing our communities. We're missing opportunities to bridge divides, whether it's between estranged neighbors in a diverse U.S. city, or between Hindus and Muslims in India. We're missing opportunities to heal.
Darell relates inspiring stories from Kosovo to India to North Korea. Read "How to Heal a Community and Resolve International Conflicts: It Starts With a Playground."