Uthando Doll Project Update
Rachel from Dlalanathi has sent an update on the work of Dlalanathi and ways the dolls have been used.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the ongoing gift of dolls to support us and our work! I have had the occassion in the last few weeks to use the talking dolls at two important occasions that will be of interest to you I’m sure.
Dlalanathi were asked to speak at the Children’s Rights Centre AGM, along with a Representative from the National Association of Child Care Workers and another national organisation Childline. The theme was Child Safety and Protection During 2010 Game and Beyond. The AGM focused on what happened in South Africa for children during the World Cup and how every holiday, every December, every year the risks for child protection are the same. This was all brought together around the ‘Child’s Right to Play’, hence our invitation.
In their annual report the Children’s Rights Centre highlight that the ‘Right to Play’ encapsulates many, many children’s rights, and summarised ways in which this is evident. I was asked to share our work in families around strengthening relationships – under the byline that play is MUCH more than just play!
We were also invited to give a presentation at the Hospice Palliative Care Association Annual Conference – this time our topic was on supporting bereaved children – we had 45 minutes to present a practical participative session.
In both presentations we used the talking dolls – phew, they work hard those dolls and do so much very powerful work so quickly! Introducing the dolls and letting adults in serious settings connect with themselves and each other through the dolls, stories and memories of play is nothing short of amazing. It changes the tone of the room, the way people interact with themselves and each other. Its adds something! A glow or energy from the inside of people as if they have been deeply reminded of joy or care.
Just wanted to let you know how much your creative gifts serve the needs of many, many South African children – they are tools of advocacy that silently in the arms of adults, remind us all of the value, beauty and joy of children and life!
So thanks and please pass our ongoing thanks to all those who serve and create such precious characters to share with us.
We attended the UNICEF meeting in Cape Town in 2008. A year later I was included in a study tour to Uganda and Malawi. The next step occurs this month; alongside REPSSI (Regional Psycho Social Support Initiative) and UNICEF we will be faciliating a two day workshop with the Department Of Social Development and several other key stakeholders from NACCA (The National Action Committe for Children and AIDS) to look at principles to guide psychosocial support programming for the country – very exciting. No doubt the dolls will have their place there too.
Just thought you might like to know about some of the happenings that you and the dolls have helped us inhabit in a very powerful way.
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