Play Action International

Are you looking to enhance your CV? Get experience in the International Development and Third Sector with our trusted partner, Play Action International. You will be building a playground in the heart of East Africa for a transformative 2 to 4 week summer opportunity in Uganda or Kenya, gaining a global outlook, discovering a new culture and creating a legacy from which thousands of children will benefit from.

Fully immerse yourself in a cultural opportunity that'll give you first-hand work experience in the international development sector, and create a long term and sustainable legacy of play. With over a decade of experience, and with ethics, sustainability, fun and adventure at the heart of their volunteering programmes, Play Action International is the perfect opportunity for your volunteering adventure! They pride themselves on providing a sustainable in-country programme that meets the needs of the community and is led by local communities.

Volunteers will help transform a community school field by building an amazing new playground from start to finish. As well as this, they will take part in an Arts and Play program to inspire the children at a school to learn, explore, and develop themselves whilst giving them a great place to play.

Volunteers should be prepared to enjoy basic shared accommodation in spare classrooms at the schools where they are volunteering, with mattresses on the floor and mosquito nets. There is no electricity in the schools and volunteers will need to fetch water from the local water pump.

Volunteers will also have the opportunity to go on an African safari, kayak on The River Nile, bungee jump, quad bike, horse ride and so much more!

With 44.3% of the population of East Africa under the age of 14, a lack of child-friendly places to play and an incredibly high level of youth unemployment across the East Africa; investment in child development is now more vital than ever.


  • Any University of Manchester student including final years.
  • Trip 1 (2 weeks) 29th July – 12th August
  • Trip 2 (4 weeks) 3rd June - 1st July
  • Trip 3 (4 weeks) 1st July - 29th July 
  • Trip 4 (4 weeks) 29th July - 26th August 
  • Trip 1 (2 weeks) 10th June – 24th June 
  • Trip 2 (2 weeks) 19th August – 2nd September
  • Trip 3 (4 weeks) 24th June – 22nd July
  • Trip 4 (4 weeks) 22nd July – 19th August
  • The welcome meeting is an opportunity to meet your fellow Manchester volunteers and find out more about your time in Uganda and Kenya. Your coordinator will also offer lots of advice on getting started on your fundraising.
  • At the Fundraising workshop your coordinator will get you underway with your fundraising, with ideas for group and individual fundraising opportunities.
  • At the pre-departure training your coordinators will host a final training session to get you fully prepared for you summer in Uganda, covering practicalities and responsible volunteering.
  • Guidance is provided for all but students will need to arrange their own: booking flights, buying insurance, getting vaccinations and buying the visa online.
  • The Play Action International Coordinator in Uganda and Kenya provides 24/7 support.
  • The University Leader Intern will volunteer alongside you in Uganda/ Kenya, offering welfare support and advice.
  • In Uganda you will also be supported by a Summer Intern who is a trained East African Playgrounds representative who will organise the day to day logistics and has an extensive knowledge of the project.
  • The UK PAI team are available over phone and email from our UK office, including the Fundraising Manager and Partnerships Manager.
  • Your team on the project will also consist of four Ugandan build team members, a cook and an Arts and Play Coordinator.
  • You will live at the school that you are building the playground for and they will provide classrooms that we will transform into dormitories with mattresses and mosquito nets. Toilets are long drops and washing facilities are bucket showers.
  • At the weekends you will have the opportunity to stay at hostels while you do your activities that have dorm rooms, flushing toilets and hot showers.
  • Sign-up fee: £245, or £195 attending an info session
  • Fundraising target required: £1,750 for 4 weeks, or £1350 for two weeks (This does not come out from a students pocket and will be taught how to fundraise through the Play Action team).
  • Personal costs: Flights, visa, vaccinations, insurance and DBS check. Approx £500-£1,000
  • You might also want to raise enough for additional weekend activities such as a safari, or water sports excursion. There is no need to do this as there are lots of fun, free weekend activities, but some volunteers spend up to £600 doing these