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Upcycling old tires into toys for disadvantaged children Vietnam's remote areas

Thursday, July 09, 2020, 10:37 GMT+7
Upcycling old tires into toys for disadvantaged children Vietnam's remote areas
A boy waits for the paint to dry so he can play with a tire balance bridge made from upcycled old tires in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Instead of selling old tires as scraps, a team of social workers in Ho Chi Minh City chooses to make them into a playground to entertain disadvantaged children.

It typically takes the team around three to four days to assemble a playground consisting of various toys like swings, see-saws, tire bridges, and seats.

The volunteers are in charge of everything from designing, measuring, cleaning the outdoor spaces to making the decorations by themselves.

"We understand that there are many remote localities that can hardly afford to have a playground for the children, so we contacted the local authorities to offer to create one for them for free,” said Vo Quoc Binh, the head of the team of social workers from Ho Chi Minh City.

"We only want to help these children have an equal opportunity to play as other city kids,” Binh added.

Binh's team is now in collaboration with the 2016 class of social work from the University of Labor and Social Affairs to make a playground in the suburban district of Nha Be in Ho Chi Minh City.

Volunteers apply the last coat of paint on a balance walk toy made from upcycled old tires in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Volunteers apply the last coat of paint on a tire balance bridge made from upcycled old tires in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Thanks to the volunteers' devotion, the swathes of abandoned weedy land have been transformed into small parks for the local children.

Due to their initiatives, the used tires were given a new lease on life with a chance to bring a smile to the kids.

"Despite many jobs having to be done in a short time, I feel really happy looking at the fruit borne from such efforts, especially seeing the children's craving for the playground each day," Tuyet Thanh, a 23-year-old volunteer, told the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

The team has finished 16 playgrounds with recycled materials in Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces, including Ben Tre, Binh Phuoc, and Long An.

They plan to survey other provinces' remote locales in the near future, such as in the Central Highland provinces of Lam Dong and Dak Nong.

All of their projects have been funded by private donations.

Students from the University of Labour and Social Affairs clear the space intended to be used for a playground in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Students from the University of Labor and Social Affairs clear the space intended to be used for a playground in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Volunteers paint old car tires to make a balance walk toy in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Volunteers paint old car tires to make a tire balance bridge in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Le Quang Phu, 23, installs metal chains on old car tires to make swings for a playground in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Le Quang Phu, 23, installs metal chains on old car tires to make swings for a playground in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Two volunteers mix paint to make over old car tires for a playground in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Two volunteers mix paint to make over old car tires for a playground in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Two male volunteers are at the final stage of making an old tire swing for a playground in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Two volunteers are at the final stage of making an old tire swing for a playground in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

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Kim Thoa - Hoang An / Tuoi Tre News

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