Rotary brings smiles as Moata’a Community Playground opens

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Rotary District Governor Malini Raghwan cuts the ribbon to officially open the playground.

Rotary District Governor Malini Raghwan cuts the ribbon to officially open the playground. (Photo: TheSamoanPhotographer)

Rotary President, Louise Main, and representatives from the Rotary Club of Apia gathered with members from the Moata’a Village’s Women’s Committee and Moata’a Village Matai to officially open the recently completed Moata’a Community Playground.

Joining in to help celebrate was Rotary’s new District Governor, Malini Raghwan from Fiji. DG Malini is in Samoa for a few days to conduct training within the Rotary and Rotaract clubs as well as visiting several of the current and completed Rotary projects amongst the Samoan communities.

The playground’s completion a few months ago was one of the closing chapters to a long and arduous plan to have a community playground made available to the children of Samoa.

The concept for this playground was instigated over four years ago with the Rotary Club here in Samoa and also in conjunction with overseas partners and clubs.

Along the way, during planning and design for the playground, the location for the playground has changed a couple of times. 

Originally destined to be constructed near the sports complex in Tuanaimato, the playground location was relocated to Sogi as part of the Apia Waterfront Development Plan. Finally, after discussions and meetings with Moata’a Village, the site was confirmed with a ground - breaking ceremony last year.

Funding assistance for this playground has been received from various overseas organisations and Rotary Clubs, however a large portion of the monies raised has been made possible from volunteer fundraising activities right here in Samoa. 

The Rotary Club of Samoa’s annual Melbourne Cup Race Day charity fundraiser has contributed a sizeable amount of funds to help with the playground’s design and construction.

Rotary is now gearing up for this year’s Melbourne Cup celebrations on the 7th November where once again all monies raised from this charity event will go towards community projects such as this one.

The conceptual design for the playground was centred around a commando style course encouraging the development of coordination and balance for young children. 

Children from Moata’a Primary testing out the new playground.
Children from Moata’a Primary testing out the new playground.
Rotary Club of Apia members working together with the Village of Moata’a for the children of Samoa.
Rotary Club of Apia members working together with the Village of Moata’a for the children of Samoa.
The smile of approval.
The smile of approval.
The smile of approval.
The smile of approval.

This skill building activity is a very important part of child development both physically and mentally.

The high content of timber used for this playground was chosen over more expensive man-made materials to have a much more organic feel. It also helped keep the costs down.

Whilst the playground is officially open to the children of Samoa as of today, construction will continue at a lesser level to build a perimeter fence and also to erect some official signage.

Rotary Past President, Dr. Susan Faoagali spoke at the opening, addressing not only the adults in attendance but also school children who were invited along especially to “test out” the new playground. 

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to present this playground to the Village of Moata’a, who with their Women’s Committee will be the custodians of the playground,” she said. 

“On behalf of the Rotary Club of Apia, I would like to thank the Village of Moata’a for their assistance in providing this great location for the playground.”

The Rotary Club of Apia would also like to thank all the Rotarians involved in the design, planning and construction of the playground. A special thanks goes out to local builder Lawrie Burich of Quantum Contrax Ltd for his involvement in the conceptual design and procurement. 

And to all the local businesses and individuals of Samoa who contributed to this project, big and small, Rotary says thank you very much. President Louise sums it up nicely.

 “Together as a community we join together selflessly to serve one another, the result being that together we give back to our communities and in this case we help give back to the children who are the future of Samoa,” she said.

© Samoa Observer 2016

Developed by Samoa Observer in Apia