It was in a small, single-room hut in rural Zambia that The Toy Movement co-founder Ronnen Harary realized the impact that a single toy could have. On the hut’s clay walls hung a lone shelf, upon which sat an old and worn Barbie doll; her clothes and hair tattered and aged. Occupying a prominent space in the home, the doll was a prized possession of the family and provided hours of entertainment, companionship, and imagination for their young children.
Seeing this weathered toy – and the joy that it brought – it was impossible to ignore the significance it had on the lives of those children. The doll allowed them to dream and to imagine, it was a friend and a confidant.
From experience in the toy industry, it was easy to realize the immense volume of toys that routinely sat in over-stocked storage facilities; many of which would never make it to the hands of children. Even fewer make it to children in troubled parts of the world. After returning to Spin Master’s head office, Ronnen knew that more could be done.
Spin Master began delivering toys to children in need. Leveraging a network of personal and professional connections, these independent grassroots missions brought together numerous local volunteers, companies, and government officials. These early missions proved the impact that toys could have on the lives of children who have so little.
These grassroots missions have now evolved into a formal partnership and organization of its own. The Toy Movement’s mission is simple: to deliver inspiration, imagination, and joy to children living in troubled parts of the world.
As of 2016, 28 million children were living in forced displacement – this includes 12 million child refugees and child asylum seekers, and 16 million children living in internal displacement due to conflict and violence. These numbers do not include 7 million children internally displaced by natural disasters.
The Toy Movement aims to show these children that they are not alone, that they are not forgotten, and that they deserve to play, learn, and grow – as all children should. Please click here to learn more about our past missions and to learn how your company can join the movement.
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*Source: UNICEF DATA FEB 26, 2018. https://data.unicef.org/resources/children-move-key-facts-figures/