Thursday, November 27, 2014

Toybank adds more Impact Centers in Raigad district

“Play is the highest form of research” 

The week was very adventurous and full of learning. This time our target was to spread our work covering 15 schools and 2,270 children in Raigad district of Maharashtra. Toybank tied up with three Ngo’s namely Amardeep Charitable Trust, Sarva Vikas Deep & Institute of Social Service, working very closely with the Katkari tribe in Raigad.  All the three organization work for the upliftment of the Katkaris, one of their aims is to motivate the parents to send their kids to school. Our partnering organization had selected the schools understanding that the tribal children ratio.

During the trainings it was observed that the children travel 2-3 kms to attend schooling. On the other side one of the tribal pada shifted its basement of the hill so that the children need not walk kilometers to reach school. But there were also cases seen where the parents were not willing to send their kids to schools which was affecting their growth and most importantly creating hurdles in their education.

Toybank's toys will be a medium used to increase their interest level towards attending the schools. The teachers would be using the games to make thier teaching more vibrant and interesting, The toy library has different types f games which would enhance their overall development. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Play centre revisit and distribution at CanSupport, Delhi NCR - 8th Sep 2014

We revisited the small play centre that Toybank had helped setting up a few months back. It was very satisfying to see that for the little ones, who come there, the toys are a main attraction. As they sit in that small room, with their mothers, waiting for their turn to see the medical counsellor, the toys and games provide a lively distraction. Similar is the experience with the teenagers, who sit in support groups. They play a board game or two after finishing with their discussions, thus leading to a healthy bonding in the group.

This time Toybank took toys for all the children (around 40). All of them received surprise gifts as they left. They were asked to open it after reaching home, but of course they couldn't wait :), and you could see them smiling as they moved out of the building.

Happy to bring out those smiles :)

To view more pictures click here

Play Library at Harmony House Gurgaon, Delhi 25th Aug 2014

Two lovely homes in a green block in Gurgaon, buzzing with 300+ kids and faculty dedicated to the cause of providing quality education to the underprivileged. Being run completely on donations, this 'Harmony House' is a dream come true of a philanthropist.

Toybank Delhi had the opportunity to set up the play libraries at these homes. We managed to collect and sort around 70+ games and toys for the kids of age group 6 and below, and about 50 odd board and mind games for the older kids (age group 7-15). As the library setting up day was a Monday, so only about 4 of our Toybank volunteers could make it. However, we managed to spend two hours and trained a group of 30 older children on various board games, with a hope that the explanation will trickle down to the younger ones later.

The management and staff at harmony house has shown immense support towards the play library, by offering space and time for the purpose. They believe it is a fun way of educating the kids and hence encourage participation.  
To view more photos click here

Friday, August 22, 2014

We Said “Vande Mataram” with Toys

Toybanker: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Umesh (Age -11): Police.

Toybanker: Why Police?

Umesh: They are strong and protect everybody.

That is how confident and ambitious the future of India is.  In every child there is a dream and in every dream there is a possibility. It’s a universal concept- the environment shapes the future of a child. True. But at Toybank we have an additional concept- Give a toy, give a future. A child’s toy, which is also a child’s engagement, shapes its future. Standing true to our tagline, we, the Toybankers on the morning of August 15 reached Pragati Vidyalaya & Junior College in Borivli, Mumbai to celebrate the Independence Day differently.

 Independent India is a world of hopes and opportunities for everybody. The children, who are standing close to witness what the country has to offer, deserve to be pampered and encouraged from time to time. As the students of Pragati Vidyala prepared to pay respect to the country by hoisting the tri-color on their play ground, the enthusiastic Toybankers prepared to make the students smile by the end of the day. After singing the National Anthem together, while saluting the flag, we marched towards the classrooms to engage with the children and end the sessions with toy distributions.
This is Toybank’s tenth year and it being a remarkable milestone for all of us here, we have decided to make every event and activity as splendid as possible. Wearing our smiles, we connected with the children with various activities. This is one of the events for Toybank which saw a huge number of individuals volunteering to help. We had volunteers from corporates, colleges, the constant volunteers and a few new ones J

“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do…”


We at Toybank have a walking talking “Happy”- Pravin Tulpule who is also called Happy (with love) was a treat as always for every child at the school. He amused all with his humor and tricks.
After singing many songs, reciting many poems, clapping many times, we said goodbye to every student of the primary and secondary sections with a toy each. The smiles which we got in return can be treasured forever.

Many a times, people ask each other, ‘what delights you?” That day on August 15 with patriotic songs blaring out of the speakers, children running around with happiness written all over their faces,  the thought which struck me was- “This” is what delights me! I know I will not be making a hasty generalization if I said “That” is what delights all of us at Toybank. The smiles, the cheers, the tiny hope peeping out of every face, teamwork and above all the ‘intention’ are delightful. Completing ten and looking at many more years to come, we can collectively and positively say that Toybank will continue making its contribution to make the world a better place to live! 

To vie more photos click here

By Shivangi Bose. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

With love to the garden-keepers, Vasant Kunj, 22nd July 2014

Toybank shared some toys with about 10 children living in a cluster of huts inside a public park in Vasant Kunj. It is a big and beautiful park that scores of people visit everyday, however no one gives a thought to who keeps it so clean. Yes it is the families of the gardeners and the cleaners who do the job!

A closer look into these huts show kids, even small babies, playing with leaves & twigs but no toys at all. Toybank office being very close to this park felt a responsibility and there we were!!... :)

To view more photos click here 

- By Ashima Khemka

Monday, June 30, 2014

Toybank starts its Rural set ups for this financial year

Toybank teams travel for 500km to spread its Impact centers at Wada, Thane district.  We had planned this visit in association with Impact India Foundation, an organization working on developing the health scenario in Thane district. All the schools/ashramshala’s are in the interiors of Wada where the children have very less access to play. All they would know are few outdoor games played in a group.

Play for them is the Luxury. And our team was here to tell them that it’s not, but their right.
And to have FUN!
The first highlight to mention here is the SMILES on the children faces & the curiosity to PLAY J when we opened the huge cartons full of games.
During this three day visit we covered 2409 kids of Wada from 11 different schools. Our team conducted training for approximately 50 schools teachers making them understand all the games provided in the Impact centers.  The fun part of the training is to motivate these teachers to play all the games. And Yes! They do play J

Teachers of all the schools & ashramshalas would play a very important role for involving & motivating the kids to learn through play.  The children would also use few educational games in their classroom learning.

Through our centers the children would get access to variety of games from puzzles to blocks, educative to fun-learning, indoor to outdoor games. Toybank’s focus would be to provide them a platform to help the children develop their social emotional 7 intellectual skills through these games.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Toybank joins hands with CanSupport - 5th Aug, 2013

Toybank Delhi was able to share some moments of happiness with children at CanSupport, R.K.Puram, Delhi. We were able to provide toys and games for around 75 kids, who visit the facility once a week with their parents for counselling.

Unlike other days, this time the Toybank and CanSupport volunteers greeted them with colorful and playful things in their hands. Their excitement made them forget their cruel challenge and we hope that the toys we left behind will continue to serve for a while.

Toybank Delhi spreads its wings :)

Toybank Delhi had sent 3 cartons full of educational toys and games for around 110 children of Astitva Society, a student run NGO for underprivileged kids in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand. They were were very happy to receive them and sent the below thank you note. 
We are so glad to receive this note from the President of Astitva Society Team 

​"Hi ma'am, Happy New Year

I got all three cartons that you had sent to my sister's place. I must say that I hadn't expected that all these toys would be so attractive without losing their educational values... I am sure our children will be more than just happy to receive them. Again, thanks a lot :) I'll try to send u pics of our children enjoying with these toys... 

Thanks a lot ma'am"

Toybank plans to spread more and more joys through their toys this year long :)

Toybank visits Mobile Creches, Delhi - May 21, 2014

It was a long trek from Delhi, however worth every minute when we reached and saw how organized and clean was the tiny school at a Mobile Creche, Ansal API construction site, Gurgaon. Catering to about 100 kids, the creche is like a blessing to the migrant laborers of that massive housing project. Providing clean, safe and an adequate learning environment, the creche ensures that they fulfill the essential needs of the children there.

As Toybank, it was our first visit to the facility and we gifted a play pen and loads of soft toys to the creche. Some toybank volunteers interacted with the staff to understand their needs and promised to come back soon with what they can.

Toybank Delhi distributes toys at Mera Parivar, Gurgaon - 22nd March, 2014

Toybank was invited to distribute toys to the children of the Mera Parivar school in Gurgaon. The NGO runs two balwadis and a tuition centre for the underprivileged. It was the occasion of their annual result declaration, when the children were handed over a toy each, along with their report cards.
The Toybank volunteers spent many hours of labor in sorting, cleaning and wrapping each toy as per the age group and finally we were able to provide toys for around 130 kids. The volunteers were as excited to give as the kids, who were receiving them. The parents too were pleasantly surprised and thanked the team for making the children happy :)

Toybank Delhi goes on wheels to spread joy at NIPUN, 11th May - 2014

It was again a satisfactory day as we updated our Toy library at Nipun, Meera Bagh, Delhi. The organization runs a creche, a balwadi and a remedial school for around 150 children of the Meera Bagh slum colony. 

When the Toybankers arrived, the little babies and toddlers in the creche were sound asleep. We tip toed into their room and decorated their walls with colorful decals and set up a ball pool for them. It was a sheer delight to see the surprise in their eyes as they woke up one by one and picked up their favorite toy before jumping into the ball pool.

This time we could also provide learning material in the form of puzzles and toddler books for the balwadi kids. Thanks to our donors, the quality of the material provided will certainly ensure that these kids pick up their colors, letters, numbers and vocabulary as fast as someone from an elite pre-school :)

Besides, one full carton of games and art and craft kits was given for the children who come to the remedial school. Here's a small feedback from the centre:

"We would like to thank you for donating hundreds of toys for the children of NIPUN. Each children attending our Creche, Pre-school and REC centers received beautiful toys, puzzles and writing/coloring materials. The pure joy and surprises in the faces of each sweet child was truly unforgettable. The children, parents and staff of NIPUN will never forget this wonderful act of kindness and generosity." - Pradeep Kumar, Secretary

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Toybank set up toy libraries with Ummeed , Delhi

Ummeed Ghar is an institution that provides educational and boarding facility to underprivileged children. They have three campuses in Delhi, two for girls and one for boys. In total they house around 250+ children. Toybank Delhi was fortunate to receive the opportunity to provide toys and games for all their three campuses.

It was a high energy afternoon at Ummeed Ghar, Mehrauli, where 15 Toybank volunteers showed up to provide and play, games and sports with over 100 boys from age group four to eighteen years. In my 4 yrs of working with Toybank, this was clearly the most exciting session that I have ever seen. Other than the puzzles and board games, this time we also brought with us, sports kits for volleyball, basketball, badminton and yes cricket! These kits were provided by the sporting company Game on India and were a hit amongst the toybank volunteers as well as the boys at Ummeed Ghar.
Here's a summary from the volunteers, mainly from GENPACT, IBM, Deloitte, Delhi:

''It was an exhilarating experience to set up Toy Library with kids at Ummeed. The enthusiasm kids had their was truly overwhelming. Looking forward for more such events with Toybank.''

Here's the feedback from Nadira, who runs the Aseem library at all of Ummeed's centres and with whose initiative Toybank was invited to the institution:

''The children and adults of Ummeed Home, all loved the session, with all you wonderful volunteers. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. do convey our joy to all your friends, and keep up the good work, we need you!!''

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Power of Play workshop, 21st April 2014, Powai- Mumbai.

On the 21st of April 2014, Toybank conducted a workshop in Powai. We as volunteers, helped organise competitive games which had learning outcomes.
Power Of Play, our workshop was conducted in two parts. It was our first time helping Toybank with their workshop and the experience was one of a kind. With the objective of telling parents how important “Play” is for children, they lived like they were kids again for those couple of hours. It was an extremely amusing sight to watch these grownups enjoying themselves as if they were five years old again.

 Each volunteer was in charge of a particular category of play, the categories being Make-believe, Physical, Discovery, Strategic and Constructive. We had an array of games in each category and had to show parents how to play with them. During this time, we observed how the parents no longer knew the games their children play with. Their faces were filled with curiosity as they moved from one category to another in order to familiarise themselves with the games.

After fifteen minutes of play time, they were made to stand in a circle and recite a poem written by a fellow volunteer. The parents were made to dance and sing which they did very enthusiastically. The learning objective was to show how learning could be fun and creative.

As new volunteers, this experience was unique and enlightening. We thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. The smiles that the workshop brought on these parents faces were priceless and will be ingrained in our memories.
To view more picture, click here

Shubhalakshmi and Sanjana.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Toybank conducts follow up visit at the Rural Centers

Toybank team conducts follow up visits to its existing rural set ups at Kolad, Raigad district and Wada, Thane district in the month of January and March respectively. The visit particulary was conducted to gauage if the toys provide are useful for the children and definitately to surpervise the implementation of toy libraries at all these centers. At Kolad , our interns visited all the 5 Zilla Parishad Schools that we catered to last year in association with Institute of Social Serivice, we were happy to learn from the teachers that there was an improvement in the school attendance.

Visit to our Wada centers with the team of Impact India Foundation was also quite similar to above, the teachers are using the games in their classroom teaching and also helping the children to learn new games. One of the teacher also shared that the children participate more than before.
And not to forget the best part, Children are having FUN with the toys !!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Toybank conducts a talk on "Relevance of Play " at Nirmala Niketan - College of Social Work

Toybank conducts sensitization talk for Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) – 1st year students on 12th February’14. Around 60 students attended this talk which focused on relevance of play in child development. Toybank team focused on the impact of toys on children’s social, emotional as well as physical development. It was a very good interactive session where the students asked lot of questions related to the childhood in India and how it is at risk, also had a fun debating conversation between Toybank team and the student social workers on how do we reach out to children who are at risk & bring out a change. 

The interns placed at Toybank shared their experience from the field where they saw development in children’s behavior through play sessions. The session ended with Q & A round, in which the students interacted with us on how Toybank works with the underprivileged children through our impact centers.

It was an excellent platform for Toybank to conduct this session with this batch and we look forward for more such sessions with the other batches. A big thank you to the faculty in charge Mrs. Anita Machado & Mrs. Sonia Rodriguez for initiating the session at Nirmala Niketan

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Toybank conducts sensitization talk at Tech Mahindra

Toybank conducts its first corporate talk of this year at Tech Mahindra. There were around 20 listeners for this talk which also included their Pune team who participated through Skype :) 
We got a excellent response from the team and everyone was happy to share their childhood memories & also how play has helped them to learn life skills. We introduced Toybank activities and the volunteer engagement program . Tech Mahindra Mumbai as well as Pune team will be organizing a toy collection drive at their respective offices. We would like to thank the team for giving us the platform to conduct distribution event. 

Friday, February 07, 2014

Toybank celebrates Republic day at Khardi Zilla Parishad School, Kasara

Smiles all over !! Toybank once again put smiles on the faces of kids of Khardi Zilla Parishad School, Kasara on the occasion of this Republic Day. In association with Humanity Foundation we conducted Toy distribution event for the tribal school at Khardi ZP School.

With the team of Humanity Foundation, our interns Sonali , Sargam , Caswina & Mayuresh organised this event and managed to spread joy to 170 kids at Khardi ZP school. It was a fun event where the children performed dance and songs with full energy. Toybank was approached by the Panchayat Samiti of the village and got appreciation for its work. We would like to thank Humanity Foundation to help us this wonderful event for the tribal kids :)


Monday, January 27, 2014

We Make New Memories with Mumbai Marathon 2014

One, two, three, four- Toybank Toybank! Five, six, seven, eight- Toybank Toybank! What a Sunday! Moreover, what a Dream Run at the Mumbai Marathon this year! We have always been a bunch of enthusiastic people (tending towards being crazy at times as well), but this year we took it to another level… we showcased energy, joy, positivity, being united, and most importantly- love!

Let me take the liberty and say- “our” usual Sundays entail getting up later than usual, have a lazy breakfast, catch some new flick at the cinema near us, have coffee with a few friends, think about the week to begin, introspect a bit (Don’t smirk. We do it from time to time!) and crash for the day. January 19, 2014 was to be different. January 19, this year, was different for most of us at Toybank and in Mumbai who believe in something, who subconsciously, all the time, think about living it differently and who cheer the very idea of humanity.

At 7 am on Sunday- the morning of the Standard Charted Mumbai Marathon 2014, with joy written across our faces, we started collecting at our given start point. In came the Toybankers in yellow tee-shirts. In came the Toybankers with ear-to-ear smiles on their faces and the expressions saying- “Today, we are going to have fun. Today, we are going to write a story. Today, we will tell everybody what Toybank is all about!”

Now! Hold your breath- the Toybank Bus makes its grand entry. Boy! What magnificence! The yellow bus went, saw, and conquered! It got all the attention it deserved. Even before we set it up, people around us wanted to be clicked with it. The engineering and the concept behind it didn’t have to look for appreciation- praises and cheers came walking up to it. We at Toybank believe that children should get their rights to play and of course to education. Thus, the school bus signified childhood, play, and going to school. Our youngest Toybankers went behind the wheels to start the drive!

We walked up the stage at Azad Maidan to showcase Toybank and the other groups cheered us whole heartedly. Post the presentation, we buckled up for the real drive (read run, the Dream Run). Our bus met a few hurdles crossing the check points because of its size- but nothing could speed us down. Our engineers, masterminds, supporters, and our cheer leaders- wouldn’t let the Toybank Bus slow down for any reason.

Toybankers and the pretty bus brought smiles to everybody’s faces. We danced, sang, cheered, jumped, and hugged through our entire 6 kms walk. Infants, babies in strollers, babies in arms, uncles, and supporters from other groups- everyone wanted to be photographed with us and the bus. Yes, I tried to rhyme the last sentence.

Toybank, in its tenth year, witnessed the best carnival, participation, and exposure at this year’s marathon. We could tell from their faces that Toybankers are feeling and thinking- “oh, it got over already!” As our strength of volunteers and people associated with Toybank increase every year, we envision bigger and better events going forward. This is indeed the beginning…we have many more miles to go, many more buses to drive, and many more roads to walk.

To view more picture, click here
- Shivangi Bose

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Setting up of Toylibrary at NGO- SHARE (Santacruz), 28th December 2013

One more new toy library has been set up with one of our new NGO partner SHARE at Santacruz this Saturday. This Toy library will be catering to 65 children who can regularly access this library.

We had planned a two hours program for the library set up on Saturday. To help us with the plan we were accompanied with our Toybankers. The day began at 10am, were we all gathered in the office for a small orientation and to collect the toys.

The event was scheduled at 11.30 am. We reached the NGO at 11 am and stuck Toybanks labels on the Toys. After a small training to the teacher on how to use the Toylibrary we directly began with the games.

The first game was Name game with ball, where the children played catch and throw game introducing their friend’s name. Later we divided the kids in two groups, first group consisted of the younger children from age 5 year to 8 year and the second group from 9 years and above. We decided to explain every game to all the children, so we also segregated the games in two groups. We divided ourselves in groups to explain all the games to the kids.

We explained all the games to the kids, followed by the explanation the kids enjoyed playing with all the games. After an exhausting game session the kids enjoyed the snacks given by their teachers. We called it a day off post a group photo with the kids :)

To view more photos, click here

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Toybank Impact Centres at Maharogi Seva Samiti , Nagpur

Toybank ended its year with a successful set up of 7 impact centres in association with Maharogi Seva Samiti ( MSS ). Maharogi Seva Samiti is a fifty-year legacy founded because of a chance encounter with a man stricken with leprosy.  Established in 1949 by the great humanist Baba Amte the organisation started with the objective of providing leprosy patients humanitarian relief, medical treatment, training and rehabilitation. Today it also caters to the needs of the physically handicapped, visually challenged, deaf & mute, destitute children, senior citizens & primitive tribal’s of the Madia Gond community.

The projects that we covered under MSS were - Anandwan, Somnath & Lok Biradari Prakalp, Hemalkasa. We were covered around 1233 children who belongs to the native tribe called Gond and Madia, the schools which were included in this project were Anand Anganwadi, Anand Zilla Parishad School, Anand Andh Vidyalaya, Anand Mukbadheer Vidyalaya, Somnath Anganwadi, Somnath Zilla Parishad School & Lok Biradri Ashramshala. 

Toybank received a excellent response from the teachers in the training programme. The session started with introduction to Toybank and the importance of play in child development. This was a very interactive session as teachers involved themselves in learning how to use play as a medium to teaching the children in the classroom.Toybank team trained the teachers on how to play the board games, and also explained objective of each and every toy. Lastly the teachers also got trained on how to maintain the documentation of the toy library, the format of registration was discussed in details with addition of few do’s and don’ts. Play session was conducted at the end of the training to make the child familiarise with the games

Toybank sets up 5 toy libararies and conduct a distribution event for the tribal children at Kolad, Raigad

Toybank in collaboration with ISS (Institute of Social Service) launched 5 libraries in different schools in Raigad district in the month of August and September. It’s a proud moment for us to have launched toy libraries in rural areas, as the kids there have very less access to toys. We were able to spread smile on 220 kids through the distribution event, the children who were part of this distribution event belong to the Katkari tribe of Raigad. They are part of the supplementary classes provided by ISS which aims at increasing the attendance level of children in the school.

The name of the schools was our libraries are launched are as follows:

Name of the school

    1.   Dhankhane, Primary Zilla Parishad School.    
    2.Santosh Nagar, Primary Zilla Parishad School


    1.   Talawali, Primary Zilla Parishad School
    2. Kamat, Primary Zilla Parishad School
    3.Pui, Primary Zilla Parishad School

We covered in all 150 kids in the 5 toy libraries and children were given indoor games like puzzles, board games and outdoor games like badminton rackets and skipping ropes.  Once they got their hands on the toys they were engrossed in playing with them.  We plan to set up more toy libraries for these tribal children in collaboration with Institute of Social Service.