our mission + vision
We envision a world in which all women, men, girls, and boys can play, create, and thrive, no matter their circumstances.
Our mission is to prepare young people to thrive through outdoor adventure and transformative play.
Above all, we are kid-centered. Our programs are designed with and for children and youth with the intention of building programs and outcomes around their biggest hopes and dreams. We value the safety, protection, and success of each and every individual child and youth with whom we work.
We believe decision making should be guided by our participants’ qualitative reflections and our own rigorously collected data. We are committed to rigorously defining & testing our impact. We learn from existing research & key stakeholders to define desired outcomes and determine how to measure them.
Founded in the wake of a decades long war in northern Uganda, The Recreation Project values peace. We understand that conflict and war leave marks on people and societies for generations. We want TRP to be a place of peace for the people we serve. This should be evident both in the environment we maintain in the forest and in the way we implement our programs.
We know that in order to grow, we must humble ourselves. Within our gates, both CEOs and children born in captivity jump from the same zipline platform. They are equal as participants in our programs. Additionally, humility is how the TRP team operates. Our directors help put equipment away and our facilitators help define our mission and vision.
We seek to learn and emulate excellence in all we do. We strive to maintain internationally recognized safety standards for our ropes course and outdoor adventure activities. We uphold child protection and safeguarding best practices based in current child development, psychosocial, and experiential education research.
We have a deep respect for the community we serve, the generous donors who support us, and our peers who seek to learn from our work. It is our responsibility to work with integrity in all we do to ensure that we deserve their respect as well.
We seek to transform lives, inspired by the most transforming love of all. We are faith-rooted, not faith-based. We don’t seek to evangelize; we strive to live and act with Christ as our example, loving each individual who enters our gates as He first loved us.
why outdoor adventure +
As a child develops from birth to adulthood, outdoor adventure and play provide a powerful platform to engage children with age-appropriate experiences that help them achieve key developmental milestones that prepare them for productive and fulfilling lives.
During early childhood, play provides a powerful place for children to exercise experimentation and imagination. Play builds confidence, initiative, and industry.
During middle childhood, play and outdoor adventure help children process failure and success. While playing and engaging in outdoor adventure education, children learn healthy ways of reacting to and evaluating others, developing a sense of self and group identity.
Finally, during adolescence and young-adulthood, outdoor adventure provides new and challenging experiences through which young people can practice and develop life skills needed to succeed. They are encouraged to contemplate their identity through noticing how they react to challenges, engage with a group, and apply their learnings to the outside world.
PROBLEM/OPPORTUNITY: Sub-saharan Africa is the youngest and fastest growing region in the world. Children in poor and middle income countries like Uganda experience adverse childhood experiences that have been linked to mental and physical health challenges later in life at rates at least 10% higher than children in high income countries. When young people experience adversity, they are less likely to live healthy, productive, and fulfilling lives.
SOLUTION: Prepare young people to thrive through outdoor adventure and transformative play. Equip young people with the resilience and relationships needed to prevent and treat the impacts of childhood adversity.
Outputs: If TRP’s outdoor adventure and play-based programs are delivered to young people, then young people:
- Are mentored
- Experience success and failure and process both
- Stretch their comfort zones
- Engage with networks of support
If TRP participants experience these four things, they will be prepared to thrive—meaning they have:
- Increased interpersonal and intrapersonal skills
- Increased personal empowerment
- Increased social support
If TRP participants have increased inter and intrapersonal skills, increased personal empowerment, and increased social support, they will thrive—living healthy, fulfilling, and productive lives.
Meet our team!