Out of The Box is a fresh and innovative approach to developing and facilitating children, youth and community oriented spaces in urban and challenging environments in Ethiopia.
Working with children, communities, resident associations, architecture students and small scale businesses OTB aims to build adventure playgrounds, art walls installations, permaculture gardens, social space and multipurpose children's centres: inclusive of all ages, genders and abilities.
At its core OTB aims to facilitate active community participation and engagement, whilst promoting the importance of play, cultural dialogue and exchange, and ensuring that every child has the opportunity to PLAY, LEARN and SOCIALISE in their immediate community.
HOW WE DO IT
OTB works hand-in-hand with the local community, schools, resident associations and students from the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC), collating ideas from community consultations and encouraging active participation in the fundraising and build process - which in turn will promote the long term care and sustainability of the site
OTB works with the community over a period of several months - conducting design workshops and collating ideas and input from children, carers and the wider community. The build period occurs over a short time frame with distinct activities taking place at each phase. From start to finish the community is actively involved and engaged. We value the process as important as the end result.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAY AND EARLY YEARS LEARNING
Children are born with a natural hunger for experience, exploration, understanding and desire for passionate engagement with the physical and social world around them. Play is the process by which children achieve this intrinsic quest for learning, enjoyment and adventure. Play is essential for the development of both individual identity and the creation of active and responsible membership of society. Additionally play is extremely important for enhancing wellbeing and physical, emotional and cognitive development of the child.
Play, according to the UN Convention of the Child is a human right.
Research on play and early years learning shows that the active participation in play-based activities results in significantly raising IQs, greater levels of education attainment, higher rates of employment, and increased wages in later life.
Investing in playgrounds, sports and recreational spaces, and children's centres plays a crucial role in the creation of strong and cohesive communities, directly enabling the child to feel respected and valued within their immediate community.