Like many communities in Libya, Sedamous district in Ghadamis’ needs outstrip what the local government is currently able to provide. Residents valued their local park which had fallen into disrepair, but they were struggling to find a way to give it the upgrade it needed to become a safe place for children and a hub for the community. When residents met with their local government to address park maintenance, the municipal council invited them to participate in the selection process for a new Visible Improvement Services (VIS) project.
VIS are projects supported through USAID’s Taqarib activity that help municipalities address needs residents feel are a top priority - like road repair, street light installation, football pitch construction, and market rehabilitation. The residents of Sedamous selected a park improvement project and new playground as their priority program and immediately got to work. USAID provided equipment and training on how to install the equipment to local volunteers. Volunteers, working alongside the municipal government, installed solar lighting, benches, trash cans, and irrigation systems, as well as new playground equipment.
“Volunteers made it happen. I’m grateful for their cooperation to help complete the project, and in maintaining the park in the future” Ahmed Mustafa- Ghadamis City Manager.
In October, the mayor, municipal council members, USAID project representatives, and Champions for Change leaders who helped spearhead the process officially opened the playground. District Representative Mabed Sahnoon recognized the impact of having a safe space for the whole community, stating, “This playground has a wide impact. It’s not only an entertainment space, but it will contribute to community development by providing the opportunity for individuals to connect.”
Based on the feedback from some of Sedamous’s youngest residents, the park is a huge success.
"The playground was so empty, my parents wouldn't let me come here before. But now all my friends are coming, and there are so many games to play. I can even bring my bike and cycle around the playground," said Amjed Wawho, an eight-year-old resident.
Another playground in Suq Alkhamees is complete and four more in different communities are almost finished ensuring that many more communities will have a safe place for their children to play. Through these improvement projects, USAID is helping restore faith in local government while encouraging citizen engagement through volunteer work.