U.S. Volunteers Build Playground for Young Tsunami Victims

A group of volunteers from the United States is now in Thailand helping the non-profit group, Kids Around the World, build a playground in Bang Sak Village.

The small coastal village suffered from the quake-tsunami disaster last December that reportedly killed over 150,000 people in 14 countries. After a year of rebuilding, Kids Around the World is providing a place for children to play and feel like kids again.

Volunteers from states including Minnesota, Kansas, and California traveled for nearly 24 hours to the Thailand project site. The crews are working in tropical heat and humidity to create a playground where the children who have lost much can laugh and play.

“I like to tell people we don’t just build playgrounds, we build hope through the gift of play,” explained Jim Rosene, president of the ministry. Rosene is in Thailand, working alongside the volunteers.

“So many people here wondered if maybe the world had forgotten them,” said Rosene. “These folks are so poor and have been through so much that the idea of having a place for their kids to play and have fun is almost inconceivable. So we feel that this playground is like an exclamation point to say we haven’t forgotten you.”

Kids Around the World has built more than 40 playgrounds in locations from the U.S. to Vietnam, and Kyrgyzstan. The nonprofit organization focuses on areas where – because of poverty, war, or natural disasters – many children don’t have the same chances at being a kid as do U.S. children.

Kids Around the World was founded in 1994 through the combined efforts of local businessmen. 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.”

The Christian organization believes that churches around the world want to embrace the children of their community with the love of God.