Founding Story

The need for happy children with safe places to play in conflict areas became evident to Keith Reynolds, the founder of Playground Builders, long before the Foundation came to be in 2007. For over 20 years, Keith’s extensive travels often took him to impoverished and war torn regions where he witnessed war’s most innocent and ultimate victims: the children. Determined to help, in 2006 Keith and a number of like-minded individuals began facilitating the construction of safe playgrounds. They continue to work with help from recognized and experienced local partners, who ensure the playgrounds remain safe, supervised and maintained.

An innovative model for providing such playgrounds has been established. The model involves the use of a generic playground design and local construction, based on a competitive value bid system. This simplified process ensures many playgrounds throughout conflict areas can be built effectively and efficiently. These special places provide safe spaces for laughter, hope and interaction for war-entrapped children in unstable and poverty-stricken areas such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian Territories. The photos on this website illustrate the hopes and smiles created by both the early work of the group and later by our official charitable organization, now known as ‘Playground Builders’.

With the great dedication of our volunteers and the work of our ‘Helpers in Action’, Playground Builders now has numerous projects completed or underway.  Except for some minimal operating costs, donations go directly toward building playgrounds. Our partners in the local areas cover their own administrative fees. The majority of our operating expenses are covered by private individuals.

The benefits of the Playground Builders program are multi-fold and provide tangible, long term advantages for the children and their communities. Children have somewhere safe to play, laugh and simply be ‘kids’. Parents witness the joy of their children simply being children. Our playgrounds are built, installed and maintained by local people. By providing much-needed jobs we help societies in crisis, injecting money into the local economy which helps to restore pride, ownership and enterprise capacity in these unstable communities.

Playground Builders is a registered Canadian charity: #852810019RR0001.