In June we got together and went to Verpelét to visit a local kindergarten with about 180 children. The wooden toys in the playground were quite worn out, the paint was peeling off and even just using them was nearly dangerous. We thought it would be worth investing time and effort to renovate these garden toys for the kindergarten and for the children of course.
We asked one of our colleagues who participated in the event, Maria Markovics, to tell us about her experiences:
“The renovation and the whole programme took up the whole Saturday. There were 14 of us, colleagues, but some of us also brought family members to help.
We left Budapest at around 8am and arrived at the kindergarten in Verpelét at 10am, where we were greeted by the head kindergarten teacher and a few staff, including the kindergarten’s only maintenance worker. He was probably the one who was most happy to see us, as he could not have managed the renovation work alone. They were all very kind, we even got a round of welcome pálinka.
After we all arrived, we started work at around 10:30. The day was enough to renovate the toys in the front section of the playground, luckily we had the time, energy and equipment to accomplish this.
We refurbished the entire, long wooden monkey bars with slide, a wooden shed, a small train and a seesaw.
We brought a total of 5 sanders from home. Before painting, we polished the wooden surfaces with paper and a machine, which was equal to a serious arm exercise.
Our hosts also prepared lunch for us, so we had a little break in between all the hard work. After lunch, we finished sanding the toys and got to work on the painting. It was almost a relief after hours of sanding. Finally, we were not only destroying but also creating something visible.
By 4:30 in the afternoon we were done with the work. The nursery was very grateful that we came so prepared and were able to do everything we set out to do. Special mention was made of the thorough and demanding work that has been done, so no more splinters will fall into the hands of the children. But the wooden toys are not only safe now, they are also beautiful, so much so that the children feel as if they have a new toy.
In addition to the refurbished toys, we wanted to give the children some really new ones, so we donated other outdoor toys to the kindergarten.
We are considering a long-term partnership with the kindergarten in Verpelét. The kindergarten teachers are dedicated and committed to their work, they care about the children and for this reason alone it would be worth our time and energy to support them.
Thank you to everyone who was with us in Verpelét in the 35 degree heat, who did not regret losing their day off and helped to bring joy to the little residents of the Verpelét kindergarten. It was also a team-building day, we had some great laughs, it was good to see that no one was slacking off, everyone did their job with fair and square.
A few days later, we received a touching thank you letter from the kindergarten and photos of how happy the children were with both the renovated climbing frames and the new yard toys.”