Friday, November 5, 2010

Interviews and More Photos from Nepal 2010





This week I got a call from my friends at KaBOOM. They said that Voice of America which has over 135 million listeners worldwide wanted to interview me. Wow! What an opportunity to share the message of Playgrounds Of Peace with the world! Not 10 minutes later, I get a call from Michelle Bateman, wife of SendOutCards Founder & CEO - Kody Bateman. Michelle had heard about POP and wanted to hear my story. It looks like we'll have an opportunity to promote our work at HOPE Home and beyond.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More Photos





Nepal 2010 - A Successful Trip...so far


Greetings from Nepal!

The team had a successful visit to HOPE for Nepal Children's Home. The children are enjoying their new swings and will spin on the spinners by Saturday. The concrete is drying, but slowly. Everyone is well. More later, but I wanted to post some of the latest photos. See you all when we get back.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Whirlwind is Coming to Nepal!



Here is a photo of a spinner we are installing at HOPE Home. We are actually installing 2 spinners and replacing the hardware and seats of the swing set.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

POP Update

Okay, for you few followers of the Playgrounds Of Peace blog, here is an update. I am leading a team of 5 other volunteers to Nepal this month to work at the HOPE for Nepal Children's Home. Although money this year has been tight, I believe we have enough last minute donations to complete objectives. Thanks to SendOutCards and the POP-STARS team and my few but loyal supporters, my trip expenses are paid for. Our objectives this time include: 1. playground - install 2 spinners and repair/replace the swings, 2. outfit the Home with a complete set of tools to increase their production of water purifications systems and at the same time give valuable vocational training to the older children, 3. develop on-going support for each child living at the home. Currently, there are 21 children at the home due to the fact that the Young Adult Home closed and 5 young people are now at the Godawari location.

We have an excellent team including: a professional photographer, an artist, an advocate for orphans and her son, a Registered Play Therapist and of course me....Mr. Playground.

I hope to keep those who subscribe to this blog updated along with photos of our trip to Nepal. After our mission is completed at Godawari, we plan to take a brief trek into the mountains. One more thing off the "bucket list."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back to Kkkkkkkkathmandu!

Playgrounds Of Peace will be returning to Nepal and Hope Home October 8th to October 18th, 2010. More details later.

Deal Bug - New On-Going Fund-Raiser!

We are pleased to announce DealBug.com a new supporter of Playgrounds of Peace. DealBug offers opportunity and hope for communities to save money within their households while supporting schools, charities, and other non-profit organizations. DealBug's unique approach allows consumers to purchase commonly used products and services from their community merchants at discounts typically not seen in stores and when the consumer checks out they can select a school, charity or non-profit to receive a donation from DealBug.com.


To receive daily alerts about the awesome deals on DealBug, please sign up at www.DealBug.com and see what the buzz is all about. Plus, you can follow DealBug on Facebook (Click Here) to get the latest news and updates.

On behalf of Playgrounds of Peace, please spread the word about DealBug with your Facebook friends (Click Here), family and business associates and help us raise the money we need to support our educational & vocational training and building a playground for the orphanage at Hope Home of Nepal.


The daily DealBug deals will launch on August 2nd, 2010. If you own a business and would like to get featured on DealBug.com, please send an email to admin@dealbug.com or call 913-660-7342.

Catch the bug…You Shop, You Save, We Give!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Photos from Poland - Aushwitz & Kracow





At the end of our mission trip, our "de-briefing" time was spent on the road and in Kracow. On the way, we tour the Aushwitz concentration camp museum. Not was a word was said by anyone in the van from the town where the camp is located to the city of Kracow. It was an unforgetable experience. Krakow was wonderful! We toured Wavel Castle and did some shopping.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Do You Have Room for One More?


During our trip to Poland, I participated in a meeting at 5N Baptist Church and a group of people interested in help the children of Dom Dziecka "Droga," by considering being a part of a pilot Foster Parenting program. I also, met with the Principal of King David School about educating these kids as well as potential playground projects involving city governments and officials. Funding opportunities through the EU are available in Poland now and good projects have a chance of being funded. Here is one of the children that is on my heart. She needs a forever home.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

POP & FRUA Project in Poland - A Success!!!







Thanks to FRUA and those who supported our team financially and through prayer, our build project was a great success! Here are some photos from the build site.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

POP Poland Team Arrives Safely

Dear Friends,
Our team arrived safely on Friday afternoon, 4 June. We are going to be in Poznan until Monday when we will travel to the Dom Dziecka. The playground equipment will be delivered "sometime Monday morning," so we need to be there early to prepare the site. The email from KOMPAN's representative in Poland is a little confusing. They may be bringing a crew to help with the installation, but I am not sure. Regardless, we have got to have the concrete ready to go on Monday. Our team will be joined by a couple of Fulbright Scholars sent to us by FRUA. Also, our friend Shelley Adler, a missionary with AVANT, will be joining us for the build. I welcome the extra help and translators.

More later.

Mr. Playground

Monday, May 24, 2010

Updated Update of the Update

Poland
The equipment will be delivered to the site on May 28th. Flooding in Southeast Poland may cancel our plans to visit the Aushwitz memorial and Krakow. The team is ready, the money has been raised.

Nepal
Still in the process of drafting yet another letter for the benefit of the Nepalese government. Hopefully, we can get the letter to the proper authorities to release the equipment before there is any more turmoil in Nepal.

Kids Around the World
I had a great visit with Jim and his staff at KATW. We agreed to take it one step at a time as to how we can work together. This is a wonderful group of people and I am looking forward to working with on future projects. Praying about going to Haiti this summer or fall as well as India.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Update of the Update

Poland
We are now in contact with KOMPAN in Poland and it looks like we are going to get our equipment order delivered in time. Just about 2 1/2 weeks out now.

Nepal
I am in the process of sending yet another letter to Nepal to hopefully straighten out the differences in the invoice amounts. With the nationwide strikes over for now, maybe our contacts can get the equipment released. If so, then we'll start planning a return trip in the fall to install the equipment.

Kids Around the World
I'm meeting with the President of KATW and his staff to see how we can work together on future projects. I'm really excited about this opportunity!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Poland Project - Equipment Photos



Although this not exactly what we wanted to originally do on this trip, the lack of funds and now time have made us change course a little. We had hoped to put the final touches on playground at Dom Dziecke "Droga" by replacing the old wooden composite play structure with a new, contemporary, age-appropriate structure but that is not possible now. We are going with the "Ready, Set, Play" list of equipment from KOMPAN which are products that are ready to ship on a relatively short notice. Well, we certainly have "short notice." It has been almost two weeks since we got the grant check from FRUA and I have yet to hear from the KOMPAN representative in Poland. The President of US Operations, Tom Grover, yesturday sent an email to the home office in Denmark to see if we can get any help from them. I have no choice now but to develop a "Plan B" and explore alternative equipment from other producers. Please pray that this all works out and that we are good stewards of the money "grant" and raised on our behalf. Note: we are attempting to order 2 bays of swings for a total of 4 belt swings. This will replace some of the old swings that have metal bars instead of swing chains. The Blazer will replace the old set of teeter-totters. We've asked KOMPAN for any free stuff they can offer. Their current sales promotion is for an extra rocker or spinner piece of equipment. Not sure we'll get anything, but it doesn't hurt to try.

PENNYS FOR PLAYGROUNDS

Summit Pointe Elementary School where my Ania attends, is raising money for our Poland playground project. The class that raises the most money will get an extra recess! How exciting that the children of Ania's school are getting involved. Kids seem to "get it" when presented the need for a playground for children who have none. Thank you SPE students and staff!

POP May 6 - UPDATE

POLAND
The trip is on. Airline tickets have been purchased. Grant check from FRUA has been received. In the process of ordering equipment. There is a possibility that we won't get the equipment from KOMPAN to the site in time. Looking at some alternatives.

NEPAL
Our contacts in Nepal requested yet another set of documents. This time, changing the name of the organization that is actually donating the equipment (i.e. from Big Toys to LSCC and POP). Also, the original invoice was about $30 USD below the most recent invoice we sent in the amount of $7,500 USD. The Nepalese government is actually concerned about $30 USD, can you believe it?! Unbelievable! Of course alot of this could have been avoided if communications and a clear understanding of what was needed between POP and Hope Home would have been better over the past 6 months. The social and political situation in Nepal is getting worse and the entire Country is basically shutdown due to strikes by the Maoists who are demanding the current government leaders step down. Our little playground equipment problem is very small in light of the turmoil going on in Nepal. Even our contacts now admit we need to get the US State Department and Embassy involved again.

KIDS AROUND THE WORLD
Talked to Jim at KATW about me traveling to their headquarters to meet with the rest of the KATW team. I'd like to particpate in one of their upcoming build trips.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

POP April Update

Poland.
Waiting for grant check from FRUA. No word on matching grant from KOMPAN. The price of airline tickets has gone up for our team.

Nepal.
Things are still stalled in Nepal. Even with the modified documents that the various ministry office required, nothing is happening with our playground equipment. Even Uttam is now a little frustrated about the situation. He was even open to having the US State Department get involved again.

Kids Around the World.
No word from KATW. I think Jim and his crew are in Haiti right now so I probably won't talk to him about working together until at least May. I sure would like to on a build with them and learn about their use of "flannelgraphs" to share the Gospel.

Cambodia.
I still sense a calling to go to Cambodia to build a playground but no response from Safe Haven Village or the sponsoring organization as well as Hope for the Nations.

Friday, March 26, 2010

POP News

It seems like all I do lately is wait for playground equipment. I thought I had all the paperwork submitted that was necessary to process our grant check from FRUA but our friend Adele stilled what is called an "EIN#." I thought that the documents from LSCC had that on them but I guess not. Anyway, Mike at LSCC came through again and got the number for us. We need to order equipment right away! Hopefully KOMPAN will consider matching the grant. This would be huge! A great way to finish our work at Dom Dziecka "Droga."

I spoke at a networking luncheon yesturday and someone offered to donate a high quality (white cedar) playground set worth about $4,000. I've got a couple of ideas for it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

POP Promotions

Playgrounds Of Peace continues to get some attention from the community. On March 1st, I spoke at my daughter's school for their "Diversity Fair." I was so well received that the school is planning a fund-raiser for current and future POP projects. I showed the Hope for Nepal Video and had a booth with photos from both our Poland and Nepal projects. Lisa Smith, wife of Nepal Team member Duane Smith, informed that this years' VBS (Vacation Bible School) at Lee's Summit Community Church (summer 2010) will include an emphasis on missions and a fund-raiser for POP. What a blessing!

Please pray for me and the future of POP. We are at a crossroads. POP either becomes it's own non-profit organization or merge with another group. Thank you for your continued support. 11 weeks until the Poland trip!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hope for Nepal Video

video

Updates from Nepal & Poland




During the past couple of weeks Uttam contacted me via Skype and asked for another equipment donation letter and invoice from BigToys, Inc. and POP. The "new" letter and the invoice listed the official name of the children's home which is "Hope for the Nations, Nepal - Hope for Nepal Children's Home." Still no word as to when the equipment will be released so it can be picked up and delivered to the site. It appears now that the first opportunity to take another team over to Nepal to install the equipment would be October of 2010.

In the meantime, POP is going to Poland in June. My friend Adele with FRUA requested a couple of documents from POP and the Church. The Church was super fast in getting the documents ready and emailed for me! Adele is going to put a cover letter on the documents and submit the package to the FRUA Board and/or Treasurer for the grant check to be issued. I spoke with Joel Roddell of PG Playgrounds (KOMPAN Rep. for this area) and he made some suggestions as to what equipment to put in at the Dom Dziecka. Also, the King David School in Poznan looks like it is going to stay at it's current location. This more "permanent" arrangement gives us another opportunity to add to the their playground. Therefore, since the "Cowboy Bible Camp" and horse clinic is not going to happen this trip, working at King David School gives us another ministry opportunity.

I am preparing a presentation for the Administration of King David School, interested persons from 5N Baptist Church and various missionaries on "adopting" a concept like the Hope for Nepal model for a children's home, but make it more applicable to Poland. Using called, committed and trained Christian Foster Parents and funneling these homes into a central center of activity like Pawel's horse ranch to develop family, community, love and support, etc. would be the general idea. Providing a good education through King David School would also be an important part of the plan. We'll see what happens. Regardless, the Poles must step up and take ownership.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Poland Trip is On - for now....

Playgrounds Of Peace will be going to Poland for another playground build in June. This is assuming we get the grant from FRUA for the equipment. More details to follow.