Thursday, November 24, 2011

Toybank gang reaches out to children in Turbhe!

Toybankers all set on a Tuesday morning to spend time with the little ones at Sathi in Turbhe!

Sathi is a non-profit organisation that runs 6 balwadi centre near Turbhe in Navi Mumbai. They also have other health projects for the children in that area. Sathi reaches out to 160 children from the lesser privileged families in Navi Mumbai.
Children from the Balwadis at Sathi were brought together on the 15th of November for a fun filled storytelling and interactive session! Being the first day of school the teachers expected only 40-50 children to show up. But when the teachers spread the news that the Toybank wagon is going to conduct a fun-filled event for the kiddos and give toys, there were 110 children at the centre who enjoyed the interaction with our volunteers!

Our volunteer Vishakha had got some awesome pictured story book of a caterpillar and a rat and various other stories. She narrated the stories one by one as the kiddos listened to her recitation  attentively  and repeated few actions and sounds after her!

Later the kids sang sweet songs and rhymes for us, like ‘Jack n Jill’, Chubby Cheeks, etc… in chorus!

At the end of the session a 5year old stood up to thank us to have come there and spent time with them.

All the children went back home with a precious gift – their toy! We also left loads of toys for the kiddos who couldn’t make it to the event.

Thank you Vishakha and Edgar for being a part of this event!
And a BIG THANKS to Vaishali and Meena teacher from Sathi to coordinate this event :)

Click here to catch some pics of the event!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A real tribute to Chacha Nehru!

Toybankers team up to visit Asha Kiran to celebrate Children’s Day with the little ones there and to gift them toys!

Asha Kiran is a Charitable Trust which brings a ray of hope in the lives of lesser-privileged children to help them grow up to be self reliant , responsible and contribute to the society

Volunteer speaks...

Shruti Gaddamwar:
Saturday, the 12 of November 2011 marked a real tribute to Pandit Nehru. Two days prior to his 122nd birthday, around 200 kids at the Asha Kiran NGO made the ubiquitous and indispensable ‘Gandhi topi ‘, proudly displayed it and gleefully smiled when the ‘didi’s and the ‘bhaiiya’s asked them to put it on their heads. Another ‘type’ of topi, the cricketer cap, too drew in a huge applause, especially from the boys. After they donned the caps they had just made, the volunteers complimented them for looking like Tendulkar or Yuvraj Singh. The triumph they had on their faces is just beyond words.
The event began at 8am, with the kids being segregated according to their age. Kids below the age of 5 years, were grouped together, volunteers read them stories from the colorful story book and taught them a few rhymes. The volunteer singing the rhyme and the kids saying it after her, complete with actions and expressions was definitely a sight to watch! The kids aged 8 to 13 years, i.e. the ‘elder kids’ were further divided into two groups. While the first group learnt Gandhi topi, the other learnt the cricket cap, and vice-a-versa. Every time the volunteer taught them a step of the craft, they diligently followed it and what more! The kids wanted to practice each step till they were sure they got it right. That meant, should the paper tear, re-start with a new sheet, then if the new sheet too gets dirty, so what? Re-start again! ... the process goes on! The never say die spirit! At the end of the event, the place looked as if it were carpeted with newspapers!
The event ended at 10, with the prize distribution, wherein each child received a toy for participating. Looking at these smart and ambitious little future ‘netas’ , I’m sure Chacha Nehru must be super happy UP there!

It gives me immense pleasure to visit an event conducted by Toybank for the kids of Asha Kiran—an organization that has been established for the education and welfare of children. I would like to convey a special thanks to Farnaza for efficiently managing the event and for leading from all fronts. To celebrate Children’s Day, Toybank had organized an origami cum storytelling event in that children were taught how to make two types of caps and were told fun stories.
I was amazed to see the enthusiasm of these kids. Although I was a volunteer and was asked to assist the children in preparing paper caps, I was not able to keep up with the speed at which the children handcrafted their masterpieces!
In the end, all children were handed over a special toy and I was amazed to see the joy thriving on the smile of their faces.
Once again, I thank Toybank for providing me the opportunity to serve the society in a very fun way. I look forward to be a part of various such events.

Abhilasha Gajria:
Generally waking up on a Saturday morning comes in my NOT-To-Do list. But an initiative like Toybank is something I would gladly wake up for on a Saturday or even Sunday morning. Seeing the priceless smile on the faces of the kids when we taught them how to make ‘Chacha Nehru Topi’ and cricketers hat, was worth all the lost sleep. The kids were given toys too as a part of the 14th November children’s day celebration. Its things like these that give us something to look forward to in an otherwise monotonous life and allow us to spread little happiness and smiles in the life of the kids, as much as in our capacity.
Looking forward to many more such days with kids and as a Toybanker.

I had a great time at Toy distribution event at Ashakiran. It was after a long time that I played with so many kids. Teaching them origami, and interacting with them made feel immensely happy. I felt as if I am contributing in my own small way to bring a smile to their faces. I am Iooking forward for future Toybank activities as they give me a chance to contribute to the society and make it enjoyable at the same time. Kudos to Toybank for that.

"Toy Distribution"- the very name of the activity was so inspiring that it didn't make me to hesitate waking up early morning on a Saturday and travel all the way to andheri. Like the other play centers of Toybank, I tried to locate the four walls of Asha Kiran, but to my surprise, there were on time there were kids gathering near the bus stand and started spreading the mattresses on the bare footpath. The teacher arrived and the humming good morning wishes reminded me my childhood. After a short breifing from the teachers and introduction of Toybank to the kids, we got the chance to play with the entire team. Separate volunteers were appointed for a small gangs of three or four to assist the children with origami. It was just a couple of days before Children's day, we taught them how to make Nehru caps using newspaper. The kids loved the session, and with great enthusiasm, they followed the steps for making their caps. Then we taught them to make cricket caps which were a bit tough than the first one, but the kids were smart enough, and they even decorated the cricket paper caps with their favorite cricket star paper cuttings.
Then, all the kids were gifted toys for participating in the session. The joy that was shown in their eyes, I have no words to explain. I feel happy and thank Toybank for giving me such a wonderful experience.

Click here to view more pics!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The smile on their faces—Makes us Happy indeed

On the 25th of October, the kids at Salaam Baalak Trust enjoyed a lot with Toybankers. We conducted fun activities for the children and also distributed toys to 100 children there!

Volunteer Speaks:

Shruti: The volunteers of Toybank had organized a ’Best from Waste’ activity for the kids - and lo! – We were in for a surprise! Not only did the kids amaze us with their superb craft skills; but compelled us to introspect. It does not take more than a second for us to throw away the junk/ scrap as trash. And here are these kids, little genius people making wonders out of them! Wall hangings, photo-frames, sofa-TV set, pen stands… the list was endless. What astounded me the most was the fact that a discarded piece of netted cloth, sequined and laced could actually be turned into a cake! To say that the kids were super imaginative would be an understatement- they were incredible!

The three hours we spent with them were up in no time! Snap and gone! The activity ended with gifting ceremony, wherein every child was given a gift – a precious toy! It was indeed the happiest moment for the kiddos- the smiles on the kids faces vouched for it.
And like all good things should come to an end, the event too ended with a vote of thanks from one of our Toybanker – Shruti Shetty and the coordinator at Salaam Baalak Trust, Ms. Agnes!

Kalyani Khona: I relived my childhood by redefining creativity!!! It was super-amazing experience :)

Shruti Oza: It was really wonderful experience for me to guide the kids to make creative items out of waste. The children are really smart and filled with bright ideas. Toybank is doing great work by conducting such events which trigger the creativity within the kids!

TrishnaCounsellor at Salaam Baalak:

"The event on 25th of October was a success organized by the Toybank. We had divided the children into two groups of junior and senior children.
Toybank had planned two activities for both the groups.
The juniors had the activity of making a collage out of magazine sheets. The kids were divided into groups of three and it was a fun activity as every step they completed they were more excited. The younger kids were given soft toys after the activities and they were really overjoyed as it was something they love to play with. Also as it was gift wrapped, they felt quiet special after receiving it.

The seniors had to make something creative out of waste and scrap materials. Toybank had provided all the material for the entire workshop. One volunteer accompanied each group and they came up with wonderful creations. The amount of excitement filled in the kids was at a high level as the activity was very interesting and also needed them to stress their brains and do something new. It created an excitement in them as few of them interested in art and craft were able to show their talent and creativity. One of the important aims I found of this activity was group building and team working. They had to work hand in hand with each other to reach the next level and complete their creation.
The senior children received different toys and games according to their age levels and they really were overjoyed.

All the children are playing with the new toys during their holidays now.. They used the skipping ropes the maximum. It was really nice to associate with Toybank for this event. We wish to continue working with you.”

Check out more pics here!