The air was thick with anticipation. A red ribbon was pulled tightly at the front gates of Igmin Kibe Education Center. The children who attend the center and those who call the nearby village home, bounced up and down as they waited for the ribbon cutting ceremony to begin.
Earlier this year, the Back2Back global staff team was encouraged to put their creativity and compassion to work and submit ideas for “Dolphin Tank” – an internal innovation fund set aside to reward disruptive solutions to pandemic related challenges. A panel of Back2Back Directors and Board Members heard different projects pitched by staff, and one of the chosen projects was a new playground for the education center in Nigeria!
The unveiling day finally arrived, and both children from the center and local village were equally excited to see and try out the new equipment. “Initially, we were concerned the children who attend the center would want to use the equipment before anyone else,” shared Meredith Messer, Back2Back staff. “We were so surprised and delighted to see them content to watch their friends and neighbors jump all over the new equipment. They could have been possessive over this new equipment, but they were happy to share and invite others into it.”
Staff psychologist, Patience, believes this behavior is tangible evidence of growth. “I was so happy to see the change in their demeanor towards others. They are learning core values and sharing openly with their community without being prompted,” she said.
The children spent the afternoon playing on the new playground with their friends, and fostered an atmosphere of togetherness. This is a vivid picture of how as the children make positive changes within, it leads to maturity. We celebrate this development and trust there is more to come.