Ford & Doonan and the Uthando Project Inc.
Finding a second home for by-products from production and installation is often a challenging area for a business. Fortunately, Ford & Doonan were able to find the team at the Uthando Project Inc. With their motto being “Touching hearts and bringing play to life”, they hand make dolls out of recycled materials from manufacturing and production companies.
Designed for children living in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in South Africa, the dolls aim to bring happiness to children living in disadvantaged parts of the region, a region where two thirds of children live in poverty and all have been affected by HIV/AIDS. These dolls bring much delight to children and their carers, and through play, can open up conversation around grief and loss.
In the KZN area of South Africa where the project first began, the AIDS pandemic was most severe, with one in five children experiencing loss of one or both parents, with up to 60% of young women potentially being HIV+. The name Uthando means “love” in the Zulu language, the native tongue of the region.
Ford & Doonan donate the internal stuffing from air conditioning insulation, which previously just went into the bin. Not only does this keep materials away from landfill, but it brings happiness and joy to the life of many in South Africa.
Over the last 13 years, over 60,000 dolls have been sent from Australia to the region, bringing smiles to many faces. If you’d like to learn more about the Uthando Project, take a look at their website. The project is based in Forrestfield in Western Australia. http://uthandoproject.org/