Lauretta du Preez of Eldorado Place crochets what she calls “love me dolls” for abused children, and says nothing gives her greater reward, as children have always been her first love. “It has been a life-long dream of mine to work with children and I don’t like to see them getting hurt, which is why I decided to make these dolls to supply to children.“Ever since I was a teenager I loved working with children. I wanted to be a social worker, but realised I would get too emotionally involved. Thereafter I wanted to become a pre-primary school teacher, but there were no finances for that.“I started making the dolls earlier this year when my friend, Debbie Pienaar, got a crochet pattern for a doll. As we crocheted together and she taught me, I realised that there are little ones that might appreciate these. “However, it was not until I attended the Brave Women’s Conference with my sister, and saw Dlalanathi and what they do, that I resolved to dedicate my dolls to abused and traumatised children.”Dlalanathi is a non-government organisation that focuses on the well being of vulnerable children.“When I started making the dolls I couldn’t stop. To date I have made almost 30 dolls. I have had to slow down recently because I had a slipped disk on my neck. “Oddly enough, it has been finding a space to donate to that has proven to be challenging. “When I first got the idea I contacted a social worker with whom I’d hoped I could work with to distribute the dolls, but she never got back to me.“Then I tried Grey’s Hospital, but I was told of the long procedural steps one needed to take in order to donate something like this. “There’s no giving up and currently I’m communicating with the magistrate’s court as I heard they will be hosting a Christmas party and are taking donations for underprivileged and abused children.“We as adults are the cement that holds them together. Our love and caring is what makes them loving and caring adults,” she said of children.