Act 3 Reflection

Building the park elements was definitely a rewarding experience, not only for the members of the project team but also for many of the community members and city officials.  When we began, some of the members of the community were hesitant to get involved but once they saw the community leader, Mark, pick up a hammer they swarmed to help us.  Throughout the construction we found many difficulties that we had not foreseen such as the drill battery dying, not having enough screws or nails, or simply the structure we were trying to build was much more complex than the instructions led us to believe.  The part that impressed us though was that when things like that would happen, community members would be the ones to provide us with the appropriate tools or to suggest alternatives to what we had on the paper.  Not only did they help our plans but they directed them.  Their involvement and investment in this process makes us know that these pieces of play equipment will be taken care of and respected by the community.

Moving Forward

When we came into the community, the biggest concern we heard was for the safety of the children.  We helped them find a way to bring their own creativity and resourcefulness to address an important problem, and have fun doing so.  The community came together for this build and the children now have a safe place to play, away from the road.  Construction would be one of the last things that we are able to do in Flamingo; but we would be leaving behind new playground equipment, planters, crèche resources, and the initiative to think of innovative ideas that they could implement as Flamingo is upgraded.  The work we did with the community, the City, and the NGOs helped to facilitate this rewarding process and lets us know that we have helped create a group that would support this project once we were gone.