The moment we said what the heck are we doing here!

Reza Marvasti


Here is the summary of our missionfrom start until the moment today when Sohnia and I looked at each other and asked each other, what the heck are we doing here?!

Just a few months ago Sohnia and I decided to follow our dream, which is traveling the world and bringing love and play to the kids who are in need of a safe space to play. From there we start The Power Of Play, and going to bring play to kids by building them playgrounds.

Once we got set on that we decided to start somewhere somewhat safe and work with a big organization so we could make a living and learn from them while working on our own charity. But soon we realized getting a job or even volunteering with big organization won’t happen that easy and quick since we wanted to start our mission right away. Randomly we got in touch with a friend of a friend that started an organization in Uganda. Once we heard from her how autistic and disabled kids are treated in some villages there, we packed our luggag to join her organization as volunteers and build playgrounds for those kids. That didn’t work out since she went away and we lost contact with her.

There we decided to join workaway and help a local orphanage here and find locations to build playgrounds in the meantime.

As soon as we got here and started working with that local orphanage we found out this is more of a business to them than caring for orphans.

That was when we decide to go somewhere that we are sure we find children that really could benefit from playgrounds, so we planned to move to northern Uganda close to refugee settlements. After hearing it is not safe and easy to travel there as a civilian we contacted all the NGOs in that area. Out of 12 NGOs we contacted only one got back to us mentioning that we need documents and permits from Kampala before we could even enter the area.

After a day of running around in Kampala and getting into two Boda Boda accidents, I found out it will be minimum 2 months before we can get any paper work!

Camp life
Locals daily commute in heat
Refugee camps

Next thing was this morning. We got picked up by the uncle of the father of a guy we got introduced to by a friend we met here. He drove us with his Mercedes through all the check points, don’t ask how…

Later today Sohnia and I were 30 minutes away from the South Sudan border, in one of the biggest refugee camps in the country, looking at each other and saying what the heck are we doing here! Less than three weeks ago we were in Squamish, and now we are in midday African heat inside a refugee camp. We are negotiating with the army and the only person we know around here is the guy who drove us, whom we just met the night before. And,we don’t even know his last name.

And about an hour later we found the location that now we are going to build our first playground. We could not find any place better than that. All of the sudden it all made sense – this is why we are here.

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