Providing toys to children who have never had any
In rural Mpumalanga where The Topsy Foundation works, there is often not enough money to put food on the table and keep the household going, let alone provide toys for the kids to play with. These circumstances are robbing them of the opportunity to develop some of the vital skills they’ll need later in life.
The Topsy Toy Project is trying to right this wrong. Kids in the communities where Topsy work often end up playing with whatever junk they find lying around. Their makeshift robots, dolls, cars and fairy wands inspired our own range of toys – The Little Toys That Aren’t.
Through a partnership with Spree and Your Parenting, these bits and pieces are being virtually sold online as real toys. Shoppers will be able to make a donation by “buying” one of ten different toys, with the full amount going straight to Topsy to stock their Toy Library.
Topsy has partnered with twenty-three day care centres in the area, as well as a centre for physically disabled kids. With Topsy’s help, these children are now getting access to specialised educational toys and better-trained teachers.
“Our aim is to provide for the holistic development requirements of children in their formative years, encompassing physical, cognitive, social and language development needs. We’re trying to ensure that the children, from newborns to six year olds, are emotionally and physically nourished so they won’t start school already at a disadvantage,” explained Sylvia de Jager, Topsy’s Executive Director.
Children who have benefited from Topsy’s programme have improved social and emotional behavior; are less likely to drop out of school later in life; and have increased earning potential as adults. “There is solid evidence via academic and field studies showing that high quality stimulation through early childhood development programmes gives children a better chance of breaking the poverty cycle,” explained Silvia of Topsy’s ambitious long-term goal.
The Little Toys that Aren’t will be available for virtual purchase from 8 September 2015 at Spree at R20 per toy-donation.