By: Edmund Gabwee
MONROVIA: Dozens of Children in Grand Bassa, Bong and Nimba counties enjoyed the August 24 holiday at ArcelorMittal built playgrounds in three host communities.
Parents accompanied children between the ages of five and fifteen years to participate in various games in Zowenta, Bong County, Frank Diggs Town in Bassa or Camp #4 in Yekepa, Nimba County.
The kids enjoyed the comfort of outdoor and open field amusement, riding seesaw, doing the monkey bars or jumping in and off still rings.
Some went up and down the swims, while others took time using the slides beautifully assembled by a local contractor earlier this year when global steel giant- ArcelorMittal Liberia announced it was constructing three new playgrounds
For hours, their parents and guardians looked on with a smile, some even took their kids from one equipment to another to see the holiday pass out.
“We had no place to take our children for holidays, but since Mittal built this playground for us here in Zoweinta, our children are able to come and freely play with their friends who are from other communities”.
“Imagine, in Bong County this is the only playground for children to play. It is not just for children, but we the big people can sometimes meet here because of the solar lights”
“This playground is good, and we will appreciate it if ArcelorMittal-Liberia can also build one or two in Bong County so more parents can bring their kids to play here”, Arthur Keayee, a resident and Businessman share told reporters.
ArcelorMittal-Liberia built and dedicated these playgrounds across its host communities in late April 2023 to principally help provide children the opportunity to cultivate social, emotional, cognitive, and physical abilities.
The company believes that children who grow up in less privileged communities can build strong childhood memories by riding by engaging each other when they ride the seesaw, swings, slides, or monkey bars just like those who grow up in urban areas.
Our reporter observed that the playgrounds in Bassa, Nimba, and Bong counties continue to provide a space filled with excitement, exploration, and fun for children in these communities that host AML’s operations.
Nighttime view of the playground in Zowenta, Bong County
Since their construction, they serve as homes where children can engage in various physical activities, social interactions, and imaginative play that is essential for children’s development as they offer the following:
From physical activities to social interaction, imagination, and creativity, it is evident that these ArcelorMittal playgrounds are serving their true purpose of giving opportunities for children to interact with their peers, learn important social skills such as sharing, taking turns, making friends, and building a sense of community.
In essence, more of these playgrounds are needed in rural communities for early childhood development, much more of a pleasure for hundreds of children who do not have access to ideal outdoor recreational facilities.
This is because a playground is much more than just a recreational space for children. It’s a place where they learn, grow, socialize, and have fun.
Playgrounds play a significant role in children’s holistic development and contribute to building a foundation for their future experiences and interactions.