To Heal, Learn and Grow, Ukrainian Children Need Play

In August, Playmaker Project team members traveled to the Poland/Ukraine border for a training with 40 Ukrainian youth and family services workers from Lviv, teaching them to develop the safe spaces children need to freely engage, connect, and explore the world around them. 

Playmakers in Poland with RIDNI
Playmaker Kristen Raymond with kids in Poland

Playmaker Kristen Raymond Keeps Play in Focus with Ukrainian Refugee Families in Poland

“Playmaker training can be applied to all aspects of life, but this is where that light can really shine... [Helping] people who have just escaped horrific circumstances being able to process and have hope.”  

Survey Says: Positivity Yields Positive Results

In our annual survey, Playmakers reported high levels of implementation of practices learned in training, along with positive impacts on their personal and professional life.  

Ukrainian Children Playing

"Guardians of Childhood" Partnership Brings Playmaker Training to Ukrainian Child Services Professionals

The Playmaker Project partnered with Ridni, a Ukrainian charitable fund, to scale up Guardians of Childhood, a psychosocial recovery initiative designed to train adult caregivers to protect children’s social-emotional wellbeing. 

Videos: Stories of Optimism

Artful, and heart-full, these short videos and documentaries profile the work of Playmakers -- and the impact they have even during the most trying of circumstances.


Playmaker Spotlights

Trained Playmakers goodify and adapt the practices, tools, and resources they learn from us to build the healing, life-changing relationships that children in their own communities need to heal, learn, and grow. Here are some of their stories. 

Playmaker, school resource officer, Will Chapman

Will Chapman, Playmaker, School Resource Officer

For William Chapman, School Resource Officer for Newtown, Connecticut, there's one important message he wants to convey to each and every child.

Carly McPartland, Educator, Rubber Chicken Wrangler

To fully appreciate just how big a deal Charlie and Reggie the rubber chickens really are, you’d have to go back to Carly McPartland’s first year of teaching.

Rishi, Gerye Jwa Executive Director

After a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake nearly leveled Haiti in 2010, Rishi – now the Executive Director of Gerye Jwa, our Playmaker team in Haiti – found Playmaker training to "life-changing" and "affirming."

illustration of a handprint in orange

Media Inquiries: 

If you're spreading the word about the power of play and optimism in creating healing, life-changing relationships, we'd love to help! Contact Anne at

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