Playgrounds in progress!

Emma and the mayor check out the picket fencing.

Emma and I want to let you know that the Our Sofievka: Parks, Playgrounds, and Peace project  is in progress and moving along nicely. We learned in early January that – thanks to many generous donations – we were fully funded. Peace Corps processed all the paperwork for us, and we were able to withdraw money at the end of the month. Our local carpenter and his crew had already begun work on the playgrounds, thanks to the community contribution procured by Sofievka’s mayor, Petro Yuriovich. We’ve since paid two more installments towards their work, with one more payment due upon installation of the structures.

We’ve been holding meetings every other week or so with our community partners and the mayor to track our progress. For the last meeting we went to the carpenter’s workshop where we finally saw some concrete (well, wooden) results!

The first thing we saw were the completed sections of picket fencing. These cute little fences will surround the playgrounds, keeping stray dogs out and stray kids in.

Petro Yuriovich inspects the playground steps. That's a sandbox behind him.

Perhaps more impressive was one of the covered sandboxes, which was almost finished.  As you can see from the photo, it’s very sturdy-looking. It’s also bigger than I imagined – you’ll be able to pitch a tent under that thing and pretend you’re camping on the beach!

The actual playground structures aren’t there yet, but they had already built the step ladders for them. We also got to see one of the trash cans.

Overall, progress looks good! We’re very excited to see things starting to come together. Our next step is to begin organizing volunteers for the work ahead. It’s still too cold to work on the playground sites, but we can start painting fences at the workshop as soon as we get some materials.

Alex wants to throw something into that beautiful trash can.
The carpenters are getting into the community spirit. They say they're going to turn that big log into a balance beam – free of charge!