I found Project Playground online and was very excited with the work they are doing. Creating an outlet for children and youth to better their education, to create a safe space for them and to develop their skills while keeping them away from bad influences.
When I got into contact with Frida to offer my services, she was very excited but had a different request to what I usually do. She asked if we could rather than take headshots of the staff, we offer a family portrait to each staff member which Project Playground will print and gift to each team member. Because I believe that family portraits are essencial and knowing that it's a luxury not everyone can enjoy, it was an immediate YES from my side.
"The desire to start Project Playground is based on a conviction of every child's right to safety, to freedom of expression, and to develop to their best ability. We wanted to create a sustainable way of shaping the future of children and youth, one by one, by investing in and empowering people. I consider myself lucky to be able to work with the rights of children, and to hopefully leave a legacy of developing communities by sustainable impact rather than charity."
- Frida Vesterberg
"With good role models we foster individuals and cope with problems where society fails"
By Project Playground
Project Playground is a Swedish non-profit organization aiming to improve the life opportunities of children and youth through organised social activities and sports with focus on the individual. They are politically and religiously independent and has The UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child as our starting-point.
Project Playground was founded in 2010 by Princess Sofia, at the time Sofia Hellqvist, and Frida Vesterberg, two driving spirits joined together by the idea of an organization that makes a difference, for real. They both travelled to several countries in Africa, including South Africa, Ghana and Senegal, where they visited and participated in non-profit work with different organizations and projects. They noticed and were surprised by the fact that a lot of the organizations often lacked focus on the individual as well as a holistic perspective surrounding the child and its needs. They saw that focus was on costs and obstacles instead of on possibilities and potential. When Sofia and Frida met in 2009, they both wanted to start an organization that put the child first and with a locally based operation tinged with quality over quantity. Project Playground was founded.
I met Frida in Langa gear with camera, backdrop and lights and we headed to St Gabriel's Catholic Church in Gugulethu. Everyone was ready and excited and they boys were just to happy to help me carry my gear and set up our make-shift studio. The rest of the morning I was treated to big smiles and lots of appreciative words. Although I struggled to get some of the little kids to look at me rather than the flashing lights;) We headed to Langa to set up again and capture the rest of the team. This time I was greated by the soccer team which made offloading a breeze. It was such a special day and truly so rewarding to me. Family is so important to me and these moments just make you love your job so much more.
Vision – The Vision of Project Playground is a safe world where every child grows up with a belief in the future and a possibility to influence their own life.
Mission - Their mission is to give children and youth better oppertunities in life through strengthening their personal and social development.
Studies have shown that structured sport- and recreational activities contribute to a positive development of children's and youth's increased motivation, concentration and ambition. A combination of these also increases their self-esteem and self-control. Project Playground believes that the way forward is to be preventative rather than reactive and to focus on the individual in everything we do. Decisions and actions should be based on sustainability and motivate to a positive attitude of life and the people around them.