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Rebuilding the lives of swingset at a time.
Operation Playground now has its own dedicated website HERE!!


Thank you for visiting this webpage. It means you are interested in a very rewarding opportunity to help build a playground. The children of Thailand, like thousands of others around the region ravaged by the recent tsunami, are in need of so many things. They are getting most of the daily necessities like food, shelter, medical treatment and even an education. Now that most of the critical needs are being met, the children also need to begin a new routine. That includes being just a kid again.

I had a remarkable adventure like no other when I decided to fly to Thailand to assist in the relief efforts. My trip was self-funded and not sponsored by any organization. I didn't know what to expect. Once I arrived I was taken in by some of the most beautiful people to grace this earth; the children in a small village south of Takua Pa in the Phang Nga Province.

Ban Muang Refugee Camp - Some still using tents, but there have been solid structures built.

This village housed only one of many refugee camps scattered in and around the southern areas of Thailand (Phuket, Ban Nam Khem, Ban Muang, Takua Pa and others) and are much more likely to see relief as the main arterial roads have not been compromised like those in nearby countries as Indonesia or Sri Lanka. As a result, their rebuilding efforts have been less hampered in stark contrast to their neighbors across the Andaman Sea.

My project is to simply build a safe and functional playground for these children in Thailand. The refugee camps house thousands of people, many of them children that have lost everything, including their parents and siblings. I hope this playground will help these children heal and be a part of their new beginning in life; a life tragically marred by nature's fury.

I am not a large Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) or financed by any mega-corporation. I am just one person trying to organize a fundraiser to build a playground. Yes, its that simple. If you are seeking a tax write-off or annual reports from my 501(c)(3), then you will be disappointed. But if you are interested in looking beyond your morning cup of coffee and Wall Street Journal to help build something that children can enjoy, then please make a donation to this meaningful and rewarding project.

I am trying to raise $6,000 USD by August 31, 2005 to build three (3) separate semi-permanent playgrounds that will be safe, durable, and functional. The costs compared to the United States are merely fractional versus the Thai Baht. I don't have an architect or Board of Directors, and I don't need one. But I do have the will and the means to put this project forward. The purpose of "semi-permanence" is to be flexible enough to move the playground should the refugee camp be relocated.

My professional work experience is in design engineering (subsurface and above-ground structures) and as a former Fire Captain with US Govt. BLM Fire organizing crews for arduos wildland firefighting. Overseeing this project is the simple part. Raising the funds is more difficult.

Your donation will make these children enjoy being...well, just children.

Thank you,
John Moretti


Operation Playground now has its own dedicated website HERE!!

Children gathered at the Ban Muang refugee camp in Thailand

Ban Muang Refugee Children - Thailand

by Cat Stevens

Well I think it's fine, building jumbo planes.
Or taking a ride on a cosmic train.
Switch on summer from a slot machine.
Get what you want to if you want, 'cause you
can get anything.

I know we've come a long way,
We're changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?

Well you roll on roads over fresh green grass.
For your lorryloads pumping petrol gas.
And you make them long, and you
make them tough.
But they just go on and on, and it seems you can't get off.

Oh, I know we've come a long way,
We're changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?

When you crack the sky, scrapers fill the air.
Will you keep on building higher
'til there's no more room up there?
Will you make us laugh, will you make us cry?
Will you tell us when to live, will you tell us when to die?

I know we've come a long way,
We're changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play

Refugee Girl
photos by John Moretti

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