Finns donated a second playground to Ukraine

Joy of Play, a project led by the Hartwall family and their team, joined forces with Finnish companies Reima and Lappset to bring joy to Ukrainian children during difficult times.

Since February 2022, as the war in Ukraine escalated, an entire generation of children has experienced violence, fear, loss and tragedy. The aim of the Joy of Play initiative is to create moments of joy as well as hope and faith in the future for the children of Ukraine. Together, Joy of Play, Lappset and Reima donated a second playground to Ukraine. The first playground was opened in Lviv in June last year. A playground designed for children of different ages was completed in May in Shuliavka Park in Kiev. The opening ceremony of the playground was celebrated on 24 May at an event in Kiev attended by representatives of the city of Kiev and Finland's Ambassador to Ukraine Jaakko Lehtovirta, in addition to representatives of the companies that made the donation. The opening speeches emphasised children's right to a childhood despite the war, and that it is up to adults to do everything they can to achieve this. The founders of the Joy of Play project, Pia Hartwall and Ursula Blässar, are happy that the project once again demonstrates the power of cooperation. "Everyone can help Ukrainians in their own way and any help is valuable. This has been our way of helping, and together we have achieved much more than we could have done alone," says Pia Hartwall. "Finns feel that the situation of Ukrainians is their own. This was expressed very concretely in January last year at a charity event organised in Helsinki to help Ukraine. Both companies and hundreds of Finns were interested in donating the playground that was first delivered to Lviv and now the second to be completed in Kiev," Blässar rejoices. The main partners of playground donations are the children's clothing company Reima Group Oy and the playground and sports park manufacturer Lappset Group Oy. Another enabler of the playground completed in Kiev is the Danish company Nilpeter, which manufactures various printing technology solutions. Lappset's Design and Innovation Director Erkki Ikäheimo describes the atmosphere at the opening of playgrounds as indescribable. "I can't put into words the feeling of seeing children enjoying themselves playing in the playground. It conveyed the immediate joy and joy of play, as well as the genuine appreciation of the Ukrainians for the help they received." Reima, too, is happy about the successful project: "Outdoor play paves the way for a healthier future for children. This is the raison d'être of Reima, and it has been a privilege to be able to implement it in this project together with good partners – we’ve also been inspired by the grit of the local Reima dealer in difficult conditions," says Reima CEO Heikki Lempinen. According to Vitalii Hlizhynskyi, Joy of Play project manager in Ukraine, the All-Ukrainian Initiative "Active Community" is interested in implementing such charitable initiatives for many reasons. "It is important for us to make people feel safer and more comfortable in communities. Especially our children, who lived during COVID and now live in times of full-scale war. That is why we really appreciate such wonderful international partners, business representatives from Finland and Denmark, who are guided by the values of humanity and kindness and create wonderful projects for our children. Such support proves once again that we are not alone and inspires Ukrainians to keep going and be more optimistic," added Vitalii Hlizhynskyi

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About The Joy of Play project

The Joy of Play -project is carried out by the Hartwall family and their team, who have been operating in Ukraine for a long time. The country, and its people, are very close to the family. Since the war broke out, they have taken several measures to help the country, collecting materials for humanitarian aid. Trucks packed with supplies have reached both the military and civilians. The family’s companies have talented staff and a large network of contacts in Ukraine, who ensure that the help goes where it is most needed. The local coordinating hub for the project is the Leopolis hotel in Lviv.

Reima briefly

Reima is a globally leading kids' activewear brand. Founded in Finland in 1944, Reima employs around 350 people. The company’s turnover was €154 million in 2022. Reima’s products and solutions are available in over 50 countries and 85% of net sales come from international markets. Reima’s mission is to gear up the next generation of happy, active kids, preparing them for the world to come. Our design principles are innovation, functionality, safety, and fresh Finnish design. The clothing is approved by the world’s toughest testers: children. Read more at

Lappset in short

Lappset Group Oy has been dedicated to promoting play and movement for over 50 years. Lappset designs and manufactures innovative, inspiring, and inclusive playground and exercise equipment, theme parks, and park and street furniture. The family business from Rovaniemi employs 400 experts in different fields in eight different countries. It has production in Finland, Estonia and the Netherlands, and its distribution network extends to more than 60 countries. The turnover of the Lappset Group in 2021 was approximately EUR 62 million, and the operating profit was EUR 2.6 million. Read more at

Photo of kids at Kyiv opening
Kyiv playground opening
Kids chilling out in big nest swing
Kid upside down getting acrobatic
Kids enjoying a fast spinning ride