At Ford & Doonan we have always looked into ways of how we can recycle materials, support community and help a good cause. This is easier said than done, as everyone knows.
The Uthando Project – Dolls for the children of KwaZulu-Natal gave us the opportunity to do exactly this. For several years Ford & Doonan has been supporting this project, by recycling the insulation material of air conditioning ducting to stuff the dolls. Any left over ducting from installation jobs, comes back to the stores, this is then taken apart and recycled. Parts of it go to this project, allowing us to play our role in such a large project.
Since 2004 the Uthando Project has designed and made thousands of dolls for children of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. They began making dolls as a response to the impact of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Children’s lives are deeply affected by this disease, sometimes losing one or both parents. The role of the doll is more than a top, they become a companion of their own, someone to talk and cuddle, a silent friend. Caregivers are able to introduce a difficult conversion through the doll and allowing the children to release their feelings through play. Uthando encourages the design of the dolls which reflect the child’s appearance and culture.
“Making a doll is a richly creative experience – and everyone feels happier in making something with their own hands for a child in need” – Uthando.
Anyone can make a doll, as an individual or a group. Every doll is unique, however it is importnat that dolls reflect the child’s culture and expierence. If you don’t think you can make dolls, but have those valuable knitting or sewing skills, why not help by making simple knitted wraps, bags or clothing? For more details, guidelines and if you want to get involved with this project, please go to the Uthando Project website: uthandoproject.org