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    Enjoying simply being a kid

    DAY 36

    A Place to Play

    Children in Congo face adult realities quickly. But despite all of the difficulties, kids adapt. They find ways to play. They make soccer balls out of discarded plastic bags. They make toys out of flat bike tires. They make wagons out of jerry cans. At the end of the day – and in the face of their circumstances – they still find ways to seek joy and silliness in unexpected ways.

    The Asili team sees these kids as the future of Congo – the next generation. And, they want to do everything they can to help them keep their spirits high. We believe that being able to laugh and play is just as important to their future as being able to access clean water.


    So the Asili team sat down and asked themselves – how can we make Asili clinics a place of gathering? A place where kids can come to socialize, have fun, even if they don’t need to see a doctor?

    One answer seemed clear. They decided to build a playground where kids – and curious adults – can come to be carefree. Where they can enjoy simply being a kid.

    The team picked Asili’s second clinic, located in the village of Karambi, for their first playground. The idea of a playground at a clinic may seem simple, but it’s revolutionary in a place like Karambi. It was no surprise to the Asili team that the playground was an instant hit.


    The first thing up was a swing set. And within a few hours of the swings being built, inquisitive kids came up to check it out. At first, they weren’t quite sure how to interact with the set – most of them had never seen a swing before.


    But soon, and with the Asili nursing staff showing them the way, dozens of children were standing in line, waiting for a turn.


    Ever since the second Asili clinic was launched in Karambi last year, the people there – and especially the kids – seemed drawn to the clinic’s clean, white walls and the splashes of color. Those who visited for a checkup saw enormous value in the services Asili provides, but those who weren’t sick thought – what could this clinic mean for me and my community?

    Now, with just a small investment, kids and their families will begin to think of the clinic not just as a place of healing, but as a place for the community, for families. A place to find some lighthearted fun. What a difference some simple swings can make.

    Tomorrow, we’ll focus our attention on the newest addition to Asili – the third Asili clinic in the town of Mudaka. We’ll see how the team there is opening their doors to all, welcoming the community to share in the joy of making change. See you then!

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