Where do the dolls go?

Uthando dolls are given to five different agencies in KwaZulu Natal: TREE, dlalanathi, Lifeline, Family Literacy Project including Vukuzakhe Projects, and Sizabantwana (Pietermaritzburg primary schools). 

The five agencies, all NGOs (Non-Government Organisations), all work in different ways with children and their emotional, mental and social development. Each organisation applies our Uthando dolls to suit their different needs, age range of the children, training resources, community impact, geographical position and network. (Note that we also encourage dollmakers everywhere to make full use of our patterns and principles to make dolls for other countries and cultures.)

Here is a brief description of each NGO. If you read each link which describes the specific dolls needed, it will help you decide what type of dolls to make.

Map of KZN1.TREE: TREE (Training and Resources in Early Education), is based in Durban. TREE trains women in accredited top-level early childhood development and has been a leader in this field for over 27 years. TREE trains over 1000 women in early childhood development each year, and their graduates, child care centres and home based child care form a huge network across KZN. (Click on the map to enlarge.)

Currently only 14% of young children in KZN have the advantage of going to to an early childhood centre or home based child care. It can be quite difficult for the other 86% when they arrive at primary school at age 6, as they are not prepared for sociability and disciplined learning.

Without stimulation, especially in untrained ‘child minding’ situations, children spend their days in a passive state, with little chance of expression. In contrast, TREE child care centres create bright, stimulating environments, even when resources are limited. TREE is a great promoter of creative recycling in the play space. Whole environments and toys can be made from cardboard and papier mâché.

Our dolls play a role in supporting TREE’s work in urban and isolated rural areas. Sometimes home visitor staff will carry bags of dolls and equipment over long distances to reach families in need. Find out mo