The brain of children is developed when they participate in physical and mental activities. Through the toys you learn to identify colors and shapes by improving motor skills. With this premise was born ToyBank, an NGO in India whose mission is to build a society where the most disadvantaged children have the right to play and to recover their childhood through educational toys and storybooks. The idea is to help them to have an active and enriched life.
This is done by recycling and reusing the given toys and distributing them to children who need them most. Until the point that, this NGO has already managed to bring smiles to more than 500.000 children in India. ToyBank instills values and, therefore, the game is not considered, only, as an activity of leisure. It is an activity that must contribute to growth and promote the emotional well-being of children.
The values of this project are similar to those of the ‘Joguines per educar en la interculturalitat', program promoted by the Fundació Catalana de l’Esplai. The difference is that ToyBank wants to ensure that children have access to toys, both educational and recreational and that the right to play for the child is not infringed. Instead, the Catalan foundation focuses on the exchange of the game to promote North-South and South-North ties and work on interculturality.
"We realized that children were opening mentally, they began to feel important and wanted to express themselves better," says the director of the Project, Vidyun Goel. These toys are collected through different centers and collection units in schools and companies.
The toys are restored, packaged, classified and distributed in the rural and tribal areas of the country. When distributing them, the NGO takes into account the age, state and intellectual maturity of the child. Currently, the project has already extended to 14 states in India and is planned to expand it to the north east of the territory.
. Connect school
In small Indian schools, children often do not have toys, so a toy library is a distant dream. The project to connect the school is, according to the NGO, a solution to the problem faced by thousands of families. The more privileged class children leave toys in their schools and the NGO channels them to other educational centers close to the area. In this way it connects the two extremes of the society: less fortunate children with more fortunate children. This project guarantees that it is profitable and easily extendable to other regions of the country.
. Connect the 'Anganwadis'
Anganwadi means 'the home garden' and it is a social assistance system for children who do not have a home. In this sense, ToyBank distributes toys to children 'Anganwadis' to guarantee its development through the early stimulation of the game. It also aims to increase the attendance of children 'Anganwadis'.
. Connect the rural environment
One of the main objective of this bank is to distribute toys to the most disadvantaged rural environments. With this objective, the NGO distributes toys to 'Panchayat Ghars' and other rural communities located in remote areas and difficult to access.
. Adopt a school
ToyBank through this project also adopts a school. In this way, it tries to ensure adequate facilities and infrastructures that include furniture or walls painted with creative graffyties. This creates toy libraries in each school that it adopts.
Definitely, ToyBank decided to bring joy to the life of all the children through the toys. "We want the most disadvantaged children to have the opportunity to develop themselves in an integral way through toys with the idea of overcoming the social differences between the children of the most privileged classes," says Vidyun Goel. "Gifting toys may seem like a simple idea but behind them there is a great mental, emotional and creative effect," concludes the director.