Playground Projects

Play It Forward

Emmanuel Foundation was initially formed to create an environment of hope and fun for children in developing countries*. We are convinced that every child should have the right to play, which is vital in their development and reaching their full potential. In serving children through this initiative our desire is to see positive transformation in children, families and whole communities.

Emmanuel Foundation has installed nearly 100 playgrounds in 25 different countries around the world to date!

Help us find playgrounds to be reused!
If your community has been thinking of upgrading their playground, rather than sending the decommissioned equipment to the landfill consider how you might ‘Play It Forward’. There are countless children that have no access to developmental play and you could make a world of difference in their lives by recycling that playground!

Emmanuel Foundation gathers and refurbishes equipment, restoring it to a safe and fun structure that can be reinstalled in developing nations where underprivileged children may receive the gift of recreation and play!

Vital to the success of Emmanuel Foundation is securing playgrounds that are being decommissioned. Please contact us should you know of a playground that is being removed and may have the potential to be ‘Played Forward’ at lyle.johnson@efoundation.ca.

* Emmanuel Foundation founder, Gary Debney launched this initiative in 2002 in collaboration with two Calgary Parks and School Board representatives, Wayne Baptist and Ray Hauck. Gary has been involved in Parks and Recreation for over 30 years serving on Alberta and Canadian Parks and Recreation boards for many of those years and understood the importance of play in the development of a child. These men saw the potential available with these decommissioned playgrounds to change the lives of children little or no access to such play. Since Emmanuel Foundation began we have had the privilege of installing over 60 playgrounds in developing countries around the world! In 2006 Gary received on behalf of Emmanuel Foundation a World Leisure Reward at the international conference in China for this innovation!

** For over thirty years there had been a service in Alberta, led by Lovyl Marion, called Alberta Development Relief Agency – Aid International SocietY (ADRA-ASI), which had gathered goods to send overseas to help with international relief and development efforts. In 2003 ADRA-ASI joined with Rotary’s Humanitarian Aid Warehouse Society (HAWS) to work together for this common goal. In 2010 both ADRA-ASI and HAWS approached Emmanuel Foundation to take over this important work which we have been privileged to do so since September of 2010.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:

Article 31: Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and participate freely in cultural life and the arts.

Click Here to learn more about Planning A Playground Project

Playground 1

Playground 2

Planning a playground project can have a life changing impact on a community. Learn more about what is involved in planning a playground project


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Read more about the lives that have been changed through developmental play.


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