There can be no doubt that one of the greatest gifts in the universe is childhood friendship. No matter how old we get, the playful moments with friends can transport us back to a time when life was carefree and joyful. It is easy to assume that such moments are a universal and guaranteed childhood experience, however, this is sadly not the case. Children raised in orphanages often miss out on the opportunity to connect joyfully with their fellow orphans because such experiences are not available to them in the orphanage environment. BLOOM Charity is committed to making sure that every child in orphanages in Morocco is given an environment where they can experience the carefree joy of childhood friendship through play. Through its Magical Playgarden Campaign, BLOOM Charity is building playgardens in orphanages throughout Morocco so that every child is given an opportunity to create everlasting childhood bonds of friendship. Today is a great day to reflect on why friendship is so important for children. For children, friendship is a vital part of their mental, physical and social development. Children require opportunities to play together in order to form bonds of friendship. Through friendships, children learn how to negotiate with others in social situations. They also improve their physical health by competing with their peers in games and pushing the boundaries of their physical abilities. Friendships during early childhood are a vital part of a child’s emotional growth and promote good mental health. Through friendship and play, toddlers and young children learn to interpret social cues and learn to interact with others. Children are naturally inclined to think mostly about themselves and their own needs. Through childhood friendships, children learn how to understand what others are feeling and how their actions can impact others. Friendship teaches children empathy which is a valuable life skill that helps them understand why someone is experiencing a particular feeling. Childhood friendships forged in the boisterous environment of play also build a sense of security in children. They are able to create stronger bonds with their peers, as well as with their caretakers and educators. This has the added benefit of improving their learning abilities and creating better opportunities for academic success. The benefits of childhood friendships carry over into adulthood. Adults that have built strong relationships from early childhood will have greater success in their personal and professional lives. The benefit of childhood friendship is undeniable. Play is a child’s first opportunity to build relationships. By creating an environment where children can form friendships with their peers, we are investing in their long-term success.