In February 2019, the Toy Movement in partnership with Save the Children visited the Dadaab refugee camp in rural Kenya. This trip included executive leaders and employees from both Spin Master and Save the Children, and together delivered over 50,000 toys and GUND teddy bears to children living in the camp and host communities. This was an emotional and heart-wrenching journey for the Spin Master team members and the Save the Children staff. While on the ground in Kenya, the team witnessed first-hand the complexities of life for children living in these camps. Subjected to violence, hunger and many other threats, these children don't have much opportunity to experience the joy of play. Many have never seen or received a toy, and it was a truly magical moment to see the smile on their faces amidst such harsh conditions.
The innovative partnership between Save the Children and Spin Master is also addressing a critical gap in services for children affected by crisis through providing 'Child Friendly Spaces' that allow children to learn, play and recover from the trauma they have experienced in a safe environment. The toys are providing an avenue for children to express their emotions and facilitate conversations with psychosocial support workers. Together, with Save the Children we are advancing the fundamental right to play for children in areas of political conflict and unrest, aiding in their learning and development and ultimately giving kids the chance to just be kids. Something that is so simple, but often overlooked as an inherent right in conflict and crisis settings.