Jan 2, 2018

Childhood, like a Jigsaw, falling into place!

All smiles at all times!
All smiles at all times!

Dear Toybank Project Supporters,

We wish you a Happy 2018! It’s always a pleasure to share our reports on GlobalGiving and know that we have the backing of beautiful people like you who inspire us to keep doing what we do.

When children play, being rich or poor or from a different community becomes immaterial. Just like in our lives, the only thing that truly matters is that we love, respect and cherish each other. It's being good that's important. This goodness is defined by how much we value loving and being loved. When we put aside all that which makes us prejudiced, will we succeed in imparting the same values to children along with focusing on their happiness and wellbeing, ensuring they are secure, well-stimulated with knowledge and right values.

Toybank, registered under The Opentree Foundation, constantly works to provide children with access to healthy play and games to ultimately reach our long-term goal of addressing development needs in children. Specifically, for the months of October and November 2017, Toybank has conducted 246 play sessions at our centres across Mumbai, reaching out to 4451 children. In these two months, we have also conducted Training sessions for 25 Teachers from 3 of our NGO partners. We also distributed toys which address the emotional needs of children, to 2118 children from across 20 of our Play centers.

With a mission to provide Play in the lives of all children, Toybank also conducts sensitization workshops on the Power of Play for parents and young adults. On November 14th and 16th, 2017, we sensitized over 4000 employees from 2 very large corporate organizations. This is what one of the senior management members had to say,
“It was amazing to have your (Toybank) team come and share your wonderful work with us. I am so thankful we have started our relationship and I hope it goes from strength to strength. Thank you so much for bringing Toybank to our organisation. We truly appreciate your infectious enthusiasm at the game sessions that left us asking for more! The sessions were a huge success, thanks to the passion with which you drove them. Very inspiring.”

Our annual event, the ‘Toybank Fiesta 2017’ took place on 25th and 26th November. It involved sensitization talks, panel discussions, a small exhibition, and even musical performances by children and young upcoming bands. This event saw over 450 individuals from all walks of life come in support of Toybank’s work. It was a very inspiring and motivating moment for Team Toybank.

Story from the Field:

Hari (name changed) is a 7-year old young boy who is a regular at our Play Center in a Government Primary School. Hari lives with his parents in a small village called Surdi. His parents want him to study hard and do well in life. 

Through our play sessions and regular interactions, we noticed that Hari did not enjoy attending school and always felt bored to go because of his disinterest in studies. Because of this attitude, he was scolded by his parents on a daily basis. The constant nagging did not create a positive impact on him and he ended up being late to school every single day. He had poor concentration ability that hindered him from learning well. All the frustration of not performing well somewhere made him introverted and even disrespectful towards his classmates and elders.

Our team immediately started working with more focus on helping Hari out. Our field officer slowly initiated a discussion with Hari, all the while ensuring that Hari is playing with simple board games. We also ensured that he interacted with other children through the play methods by which he could learn to work better in teams and also his confidence in asking more questions and being able to, therefore, speak up. Hari became a champ at playing team based games and this made him realize the value of others and thus respecting them. He is constantly improving and is a regular at all our play sessions.
Hari is much happier, better focused and is now willing to learn and without fear.

At Toybank, we are solving the puzzle, one piece at a time. Just like solving a jigsaw needs strategy — collating color groups, shapes, arranging sections of colors — Toybank has a meticulous method to get us closer to our goal of giving our children a happy childhood through healthy play. Just like the puzzle isn't solved till every single piece is in place, at Toybank, we are putting in all our efforts to make it a complete picture of happy children everywhere.

We sincerely thank you all for the generous contributions and hope that you continue to support us. Do hit the donate button on our Project page to strengthen our foundation furthermore.

With Warm Regards & Best wishes for 2018,

Shweta Chari

Circle of friends, at the Toybank Play Session!
Circle of friends, at the Toybank Play Session!
Teachers, post a Power of Play workshop
Teachers, post a Power of Play workshop
Toybank's Annual Fiesta - Nov, 2017
Toybank's Annual Fiesta - Nov, 2017
'I made it!' A child at our center is all excited!
'I made it!' A child at our center is all excited!
Learning colors, shapes & building together!
Learning colors, shapes & building together!

Links:

Oct 3, 2017

Happy Kids make a Happy World!

Happy kids make a Happy World!
Happy kids make a Happy World!

Dear Toybank Project Supporters,

Greetings! Toybank continues to tread on the path of impacting children’s lives in this quarter. And this wouldn’t be possible without all the support and contributions made by you folks. Our focus is to deliver the power of play to children and help them develop into better adults.

We have striven positively to expand our reach to more children and spread happiness in the months of July, August, and September 2017. Toybank celebrated its 13th Birthday on 16th September with an Annual Distribution Event at Subhedar Ramaji Ambedkar School. Over 90 volunteers teamed with Toybank to distribute toys to 650 students to make it a memorable birthday.

Our intern, Lucy Wray who hails from the United Kingdom shares her experience with us about the event, “My internship at Toybank so far has allowed me to experience a selection of all the different aspects of what they do. I am fortunate enough to have been able to attend their Annual Distribution Event on Saturday 16th September, which celebrated their 13th birthday. The event itself was incredible in bringing together volunteers, students, teachers and the Toybank team alike. Underpinning the event was the intention of giving these lesser privileged children not just a toy to take home but a day to cherish and remember for the rest of their lives. If you were to look back on your childhood nearly every single one of us would have a toy had a strong emotional attachment too - I know I did. It was incredibly inspiring to be able to witness Toybank giving these children both an opportunity to play at home but also a chance to receive something that is solely theirs. I have never been more aware of quite how lucky and privileged I have been in my life than I was on Saturday and for me, the day was an incredible and unforgettable experience that I am forever grateful to have been a part of.  It is a day I will remember and treasure for the rest of my life and I hope that the children who experienced it will too.” - Lucy Wray, UK Toybank Intern

We addressed the importance of play and spread awareness amongst children and adults via Sensitization talks at schools such as RBK International, Hill Spring International, and THINK Global School and at corporates such as BNP Paribas and DP World. Our QTube Café session, Power of Play session and Design for Change Sessions further helped us spread awareness to volunteers and adults so that they can help us better.

We also received a large stage to network and draw more support at the Exhibitions at Ubuntu Montessori School, Deloitte and US Consulate. Shweta Chari, Founder, and CEO of Toybank got a chance to participate in a panel discussion at the Kids India Fair and address toy companies and distributors about the value of play. The event ended on a high note with a small toy distribution for 25 children from one of our centres in Mumbai.

Toybank relentlessly pushes the barrier but at the same time never forgets its roots at conducting regular play sessions. We got a chance to engage our interns from abroad and volunteers with children during play sessions at Hindi BMC School, Pre-Primary play session at Borivali, and Pragati School.

 

Story from the field:

Prasad (name changed) is 15-year-old child studying in Sevak Gram Night School. There are 4 members in his family. He belongs to an economically backward family. His father works for the Municipality and his mother is a housewife. He has 2 siblings. Both the sister and brother attend school.

Prasad never enjoyed studying and hence, does not enjoy attending school. He does not stay with his family and about 5 years ago, he moved to one of our partner centres under CORP. He attends the night school. He comes to the centre in the morning at 9:30 am to have his breakfast and to study. Later, around 7 pm he goes to his school. He attends school for an hour or two and then heads to do his night duty. He works at the Mumbai Central Station. His job involves collecting plastic bottles (drinking water) from out-station trains. He sells this to a recycler for Rs 5 per bottle. His average income per day is about Rs 50.

When our Field officer visited his centre and conducted a play session, she noticed that he was quite an aggressive child. Along with few of his friends, he was able to disrupt the session. Our field officer decided to give him one of our numerical games from the library – Rapid Calculation. Keeping in mind, his daily operations which had mathematical calculations involved in it, she thought of giving him this game. All our numerical games work on the non-cognitive skills like patience, motivation, self-control, perseverance etc. She needed Prasad to start focusing on these aspects. Initially, he struggled with the calculations but as soon as he got the hang of it, he started playing it with a lot of focus.

Today, his favourite game is mec-o-tec and the goal of his life is to make his own car.

At one of the sessions, Our field officer initiated a discussion with this child. He seemed to be upset with his family since no one was speaking with him. He was also not treated well most of the time.

She tried some of the ice-breaking activities like- blindfold, quiz competitions, action game etc. and he was excited. She observed that he was participating more than others in these activities. He also seemed to enjoy the theme based sessions. He mentioned that the activity on health and hygiene had helped him and that he had learnt some of the very important things to maintain the cleanliness.

Once the school started receiving various games from Toybank, Prasad started to come to school on time. Prasad has been attending the sessions at the centre more regularly. He is showing a constant improvement when it comes to his behaviour and his understanding of the games. The attendance has gotten better.

 

We sincerely thank you all for the generous contributions and hope that you continue to support us. Do hit the donate button on our Project page to strengthen our foundation furthermore. It will not only ensure that the children in India will get the opportunity to play but also get to grow and develop into better human beings.

Being naughty as kids should be!
Being naughty as kids should be!
Our Founder, gearing up the Volunteers
Our Founder, gearing up the Volunteers
Our kids after receiving their games & toys
Our kids after receiving their games & toys
Kids playing, Simon Says...!
Kids playing, Simon Says...!
A hearty laugh at our session!
A hearty laugh at our session!
Our team organised a Puppet Show for our kids
Our team organised a Puppet Show for our kids
Kids learning a new trick!
Kids learning a new trick!

Links:

Jul 6, 2017

Play to Learn: Teaching Life Skills through Play

Grouping up to Play
Grouping up to Play

Dear Toybank Project Supporters,

Hello from Toybank! We have had an amazing kick-off to the financial year 2017-18, and are eager to see through the milestones we’ve set for ourselves over the following months! We feel very happy to witness the dramatic changes in the lives of the children we have been steadily impacting.

Toybank is focusing on expanding & also deepening its work in the year ahead, and has set a goal of extending our reach to 50,000 children by the year-end. We are putting in committed time this quarter into assessing the impact of our work and therefore curate stronger play programs that fulfil developmental needs in our children.

Over the months of April, May and June, Toybank has conducted 153 play sessions at our centres across Mumbai, reaching out to 3550 ­children in the process. In this time, we have also replaced games and toys at 74 of our Urban and Rural centres, to restock them with new and innovative games and toys. We also catered to our centres in Delhi to maintain the novelty and stimulation of the games contained in our game libraries. The play sessions over this period covered activities that focused on ‘Health & Hygiene’ and ‘Good Habits & Bad Habits’. From one of our centres at Ashadeep, Andheri, children resisted taking to cleaning their community centre because it seemed strenuous. However, the simplicity of this exercise came through at the play session and the discussion that ensued led to a handful of them grouping together and taking up this initiative, which was very motivating to witness.

We also conducted 8 Teachers’ training sessions this quarter thus impacting a total of 134 teachers. These sessions help empower teachers at our partner schools with tools on how to integrate play into their schedules effectively, use of relevant toys and games based on age, theme and category, as well as a Q&A session.
From our visit to our partner Sanskriti Samvardhan Mandal in Nanded, the teachers gave us invaluable feedback during the training session about their needs, and to use play to teach children. ‘Play to Learn’ being our fundamental focus for all our children.

For the first time, we also involved parents of our children in a Play Session at our centre in YUVA, Mumbai. They were amazed by how their children taught them complex and interesting games with such enthusiasm and ease along with a fun tool to spend time and build stronger bonds with their kids through play.

Story from the field:

Gopal (name changed) is a student at one of Toybank’s rural game libraries in the Beed district of Maharashtra. His teachers observed that he was quickly distracted from classroom activities, and found math above all other subjects especially challenging. His teachers expressed that while he was a bright boy, he was often inattentive and exhibited disobedient behavior towards them. Gopal showed little motivation to attend classes, which came across as excuses to his parents for skipping school.

Once Toybank introduced a game library at Gopal’s school, there was a noticeable change in the attitude of Gopal and other students at his school. The games made part of the school’s library we curated to included many strategy and numerical games, including ‘Business’ and ‘Rapid Calculations’. During the first few weeks, Gopal was curious and interested, but struggled with making calculations himself. Initially, his teachers would sit with Gopal throughout the play sessions, assisting him with the game till he got comfortable solving them on his own.

Today, 5 months after play sessions were introduced at the school, Gopal among other students not only has an eager interest to play them week-on-week, but has shown visible progress in his math skills and calculation speed. His teachers have conveyed that regular play at the school has helped them maintain concentration levels and interest to learn new information.

We are confident that through our continued intervention, Gopal and the children at our centre in Beed will grow to enjoy the process of learning through games and play sessions, and stay receptive to the education they receive at school and beyond.

At Toybank, we work with children like Gopal to ensure they develop their skills and knowledge, but also a bounty of joy and happy memories through play and games. We thank you once again for your wonderful contributions that enable us to make this a reality. This ensures that we go one step closer towards ensuring every child in India is given the opportunity to play, and in the process, help in their growth and development!

Warm regards,

Shweta Chari,

Founder and CEO, Toybank

Building train tracks!
Building train tracks!
Happy Teachers, Happy Kids!
Happy Teachers, Happy Kids!
All set for a Frog Race!
All set for a Frog Race!
Play Session at Snehalaya coming Alive!
Play Session at Snehalaya coming Alive!

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.