By Henry Ojelu
As part of efforts to connect with children living under difficult circumstances this festive season, manufacturer of Africa’s leading themed dolls, Auldon Toys in collaboration with Street Child Advancement Foundation, SCAF, have given lots of exciting educational gift items to scores of children living in Lagos slums.
During a visit to one of the slums located in the Makoko area of the state, representatives of the two companies, distribute educational and fun toys to children in the area.
The initiative named Treats to the Street, TTS, is designed to reach out to over 5000 children living under harsh environments using educational and fun toys as a means of building creativity and engendering happiness among them.
Speaking at the event, Business Manager, Auldon Toys, Emmanuel Emechebe said the partnership with SCAF is intended to secure the street child’s educational and social development through toys whilst connecting to their emotional development.
He said: “What we are doing here is a deliberate effort to help the children imbibe a quality mindset of confidence, humility, leadership and community service.
“Street children are very vulnerable citizens with no family care, no shelter and no education. By the nature of their upbringing, they are easy targets for recruitment into crime and extremist ideologies. They are victims of all kinds of abuse such as rape, ritual killing, human trafficking, drugs, forced labour and exploitation. They also suffer untold health challenges as they remain invisible to authorities where they live.
‘Yet we know that in spite of living a life of perpetual struggle, seeking assistance and acceptance from the society, the street child is resilient, resourceful and creative. These qualities, which are usually ignored by the general public, tells us in Auldon Toys that they have potential to be harnessed.”
Also speaking at the occasion, SCAF founder Charis Okolo said that though the approach of the project was simply an outreach, he sees the dire need for a communal development plan tailored towards assisting children in the area..
She said: “Although the approach of the project was simply an outreach, we see a dire need for a communal development plan tailored towards the betterment of the lives of the habitants of the Makoko community especially the children. The living conditions in the area are deplorable and pose a major threat to the development of children.”