World Aids Day toy drive in Gauteng

2017-12-01 17:07
PHOTO: Aphiwe Boyce

PHOTO: Aphiwe Boyce

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It’s World Aids Day, so to promote this year’s the theme, Right to Health, The Toy Movement kick-started their mission to hand out 45 000 toys by giving more than 300 toys to children from different schools and organisations, including Nkosi’s Haven, Roseneath Primary School, Parktown Public School and Nkanyiso Primary School.

The handover took place today at Constitutional Hill’s women’s prison in Johannesburg.

The host, Play Africa CEO Gretchen Wilson-Prangley, said while they invited schools in Gauteng with children who’ve been directly affected by HIV/Aids there are many children who aren’t directly affected by the epidemic.

She also said they chose the venue to showcase the transformation from pain to joy. “Many children, directly or indirectly, are affected by Aids. Today we want children to forget about their pain and suffering and just be children. We honour the rights of a child to play.

“Many people think playing is just for fun but it’s more than that as children learn [life skills] while playing, and by partnering with Spin Master's Toy Movement we're able to bring the joy of play to thousands of children this holiday season.”

Play Africa is an NGO dedicated to creating child-centred spaces that spark creativity and learning through hands-on, experiential activities. They serve children from birth to 10 years through programmes in early childhood development and foundation phase education.

“HIV/Aids has taken many breadwinners from their homes and left many orphans, it’s our duty to take care of children who have been affected by this. Some are left in bad emotional states and a deprived sense of security and wellbeing so we contribute to bringing joy and happiness to these children. It’s about respecting the child’s dignity,” Gretchen said.

The organisation’s mission is to deliver 45 000 toys to 73 schools and crèches, child welfare organisations, seven orphanages, five hospitals and hospices. This was the organisation’s “little contribution” to the World Health Organization drive to highlight the needs of the 36,7 million people around the world living with HIV – and those who are vulnerable and affected by the epidemic.

Allan Rabie from Spin Master said, “We want children to learn life skills they can take to their youth, families and eventually their children.”

He said playing for children contributes towards good health, which fits in with this year’s theme.

In the lead-up to World Aids Day, UNAIDS launched this year’s World Aids campaign, called My Health, My Right, which focuses on the right to health and explores the challenges people face globally in exercising their rights.

World Aids Day was declared on 1 December 1988 after health ministers worldwide met in London, England, and agreed to a day to highlight the enormity of the Aids pandemic and nations’ responsibilities to ensure universal treatment, care and support for people living with HIV and Aids. 

Read more on:    aids

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