Operation Playground

Operation Playground

Operation Playground was founded as a humanitarian effort to construct or rebuild playgrounds in Thailand following the tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia in December 26, 2004. The founder of Operation Playground is John Moretti, who as an international photographer felt compelled to go to Thailand after the tsunami. As he helped rebuild the devastated homes and buildings, he became aware of the affect the tsunami was having on the children. Wanting to help their situation, he returned to the United States to initiate Operation Playground to raise funds to rebuild playgrounds lost in the tsunami.1

In August 2005, Operation Playground partnered with Airline Ambassadors International (AAI) to assist in building playgrounds in the provinces of Phiket and Phang Nga. With the help of AAI, the first load of concrete was delivered to Ban Nok Na, a small village off the coast of Ban Nam Khem. Four local laborers were employed, and just days before the first anniversary of the tsunami, the project was completed.2

Operation Playground then went to Africa to support the children of Wangige, Kenya, and the Caroline Wambui Mangai Children’s Home, an orphanage outside Nairobi. With logistical assistance from AAI and funding by Operation Playground, equipment was installed to help the orphans who frequently suffer from the problems of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, parental abandonment, and extreme poverty.3

The American School of The Hague teamed up with Operation Playground to build a playground in at the Bang Niang School in Thailand. The students, encouraged by their teacher and tsunami survivor Arlette Stuip, raised the money to fund the equipment. Today, the children of Bang Niang School have a new play structure to enjoy.4

Operation Playground strives to raise funds to build playgrounds around the world, centering their efforts in countries where children are faced with natural disasters, economic strife, and political oppression. When building a playground, their responsibility is to provide knowledge of playgrounds and construction along with recruiting the laborers, procuring supplies, and overseeing the project through to completion.5

  • 1. “Our Mission.” Operation Playground. < http://operationplayground.org/index.html > 27 Jan. 2011.
  • 2. “News.” Operation Playground. < http://operationplayground.org/news.html > 27 Jan. 2011.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Ibid.