First of its kind inclusive playground for disabled kids in Qatar
05 Dec 2017 - 8:57
By Sanaullah Ataullah | The Peninsula
Doha: An inclusive playground, first of its kind in the region, was opened at Al Legtaifiya Park yesterday to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3.
The playground opens a new chapter for accessibility in Qatar and invites children of all ages and abilities to play together.
Al Legtaifiya Family Public Park, at area No 66 inside Doha, was reopened on June 21 after renovation.
The inclusive playground is equipped with modified games including space whirl, trampoline, flint slide and swing was inaugurated by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, represented by the Public Parks Department in collaboration with Sasol, the international integrated chemicals and energy company.
Bongani Nqwababa (centre), Joint President and Chief Executive Officer at Sasol and Amal bint Abdullatif Al Mannai, CEO of Qatar Foundation for Social Work, with other officials during the inauguration of the inclusive playground by Sasol and the Ministry of Municipality at Al Legtaifiya Park yesterday. Pic: Baher Amin / The Peninsula
The initiative is under the theme of “Qatar is available to all” and aims at creating opportunities to children with mobility impairment to participate in all community, educational, entertainment and sport activities.
“The Public Park Department is ready to implement such key projects that cater big segment of the community,” said Mohamad Ibrahim Al Sadas, Assistant Director of the Department.
Speaking in the inaugural ceremony, Al Sada said that the Ministry of Municipality and Environment is upgrading and renovating all public parks to make it usable for everyone.
The launch was attended by Sasol joint CEOs Stephen Cornell and Bongani Nqwababa, Amal bint Abdullatif Al Mannai, CEO of Qatar Foundation for Social Work, Accessible Qatar Ambassadors, children from Al Shafallah Center, and adults and children with mobility impairment.
Speaking at the event, Sasol President and CEO Bongani Nqwababa said:“Sasol believes that to build a strong society, we must include everyone, and exclude no one”.
He said that the strategic investments such as this playground, will lead the conversation and build awareness about the important role that people with mobility impairment can have in our communities.
“We are proud to work together with the Ministry of Municipality and the Environment to make this Inclusive Playground a reality”, said Nqwababa.
All attendees had the opportunity to experience the park first hand, and watch a special demonstration of wheelchair fencing, one of the inclusive sports that is being supported by Accessible Qatar initiative. The inspiration behind developing an inclusive playground for all the community came after reading an article in the local newspapers ‘Where Should I Play?’ Cry of a Child Mobility Impairment. The article mentions how a child was unhappy as he could not play with his friends.
Sasol wanted to find a solution for children with mobility impairment who are currently unable to play on playgrounds with their friends. Sasol addressed this issue by providing inclusive playground equipment and thus supporting the community and providing the fundamental right for all children to be able to play with their friends.
The inclusive playground is the latest breakthrough for Accessible Qatar, a Sasol initiative designed to support inclusion and accessibility in the local community. Since the launch of Definitely Able in 2012, Sasol has made continuous achievements in raising awareness and addressing issues of inclusion and empowerment for Qatar’s community with mobility impairment.