Our own toy story

new toys

 

In December 2013 the wonderful people at ReLIKE www.relike.co.uk contacted us to ask if we might be able to send pre-loved toys to vulnerable children – they have an innovative scheme to recycle children’s clothes; they support our work and had had this bright idea about toys.

 

Now many of the children in South Africa whom we aim to help and protect have very little, if anything, in the way of toys. In particular in the areas where we are providing therapeutic support after rape or abuse, it is really wonderful to be able to offer soft toys that children can cuddle and hold onto as something of their own after such trauma. 

Similarly where when we provide training for crèche ladies the children in their crèches also have very little - how special to be able to send a crèche for orphans and vulnerable children a special box of toys donated by UK children.

new toy
First toy

 

And so our own toy story began. To start with we had a few toys then more and more and more arrived, and after managing to get over 600 toys to South Africa it became clear that the generosity of the UK children is almost unlimited, and the need is huge so we knew we would have to find proper channels to courier the toys from the UK to South Africa.

DHL have come to our rescue and from September 2014 they will provide and transport boxes of toys from the UK to children at risk, children in distress and children who have suffered most horribly in South Africa. DHL
Toys  

Toys going to Mogodu children’s home – Christmas 2015

toys toys

Some of our wonderful friends clubbed together and packaged up 19 boxes of toys for the children at Mogodu Children’s Home – a home that has so little and struggles on whatever support it can get and yet takes in battered and damaged children and gives them love and kindness and some security.

We packed them up in huge boxes and sent them; thanks to DHL and our dear friends at Imisebeyelanga, we got them there just in time for Christmas.

Each individual child had a box of toys and there was one special one for Wilhelmina, the inspiration and driving force behind the Children’s Home.  You can see the curiosity and anticipation and joy on each child’s face.

toys toys

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To date, with the help of DHL, we have sent from the UK to South Africa, over 2,500 soft toys for vulnerable children. The outpouring of love and donations of beautiful soft toys has been quite amazing and we thank every child and parent/guardian who have donated. Each and every toy that we sent will be cherished in their new home. We are now stopping accepting toys because those lovely people at http://theteddytrust.wixsite.com/home do this all the time, again with DHL, and send toys to children all over the world. Any kind people who wish to donate will now be referred to them.

Click here for more information

We are proud and honoured that our work has been recognised by the UK Prime Minister, and that he has given Lesley his Point of Light award, stating
With the Infant Trust Lesley has empowered thousands of women across South Africa to protect and safeguard children in their communities. The education and training she has provided has helped to improve the lives of over 800,000 children, tackling the violence and abuse that affects too many of them in their early years. As we mark International Women’s Day this week I am delighted to recognise all that Lesley has done.”
You can find the full story at https://www.pointsoflight.gov.uk/2268-2/


Why are so many small children abused by male perpetrators in South Africa? Our researcher interviewed 27 perpetrators in prison in South Africa; all are in jail after being found guilty of some of the most terrible crimes against some of the most vulnerable children – some as young as a few days old. Those interviewed are all men aged between 16 years and 84 years old, and all have brutalised and raped at least one child. But the findings aren’t maybe what we might expect – it makes interesting reading.  We have been funding research into this for 5 years and it is finally finished and published – you can read the summary here

Our flagship Caring for Crèches programme has reached into some of the poorest communities in five of the nine provinces in South Africa and we have crèche leaders everywhere clamouring for the training. We have now trained over 2,200 people and they in turn have already positively impacted on the lives of over 160,000 children … and will continue to help many hundreds more children for years to come


Just once in a while, amongst all the amazing work that is done to help children in South Africa, we come across a shining star. One such is Wilhelmina who determined to setup a refuge for abandoned children.
Newsletter The report from our most recent visit to South Africa

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