For the disabled children supported by BCTâ€™s partner Wukwashi Wa Nzambi in Zambia, toys are not just a source of fun and amusement, but a vital means of therapy – helping to enhance their motor skills and cognitive ability and providing stimulation. They also help children who have been isolated and ignored to socialise with others. Wukwashi uses toys in therapy for disabled children in theÂ ten support groups that they run and in its school for children with special needs. However, their existing toys are now old or broken and some support groups lack toys altogether.
Could you collect a box or two of good quality, second-hand toys from families in your church or community?
Suitable toys for Wukwashi
We need sturdy toys, in good condition, suitable for children up to four years of age. We can’t ship very large toys. The following toys are good for helping children with physical and mental impairments to enhance their motor and cognitive skills, and to provide them with fun and stimulation:
- Stacking toys like bricks and hoops.
- Shape sorters (where you have to put the correct shape into the correct hole).
- Large, chunky ‘Duplo’ type Lego pieces. (Not the small ones, as these are hard to grasp.)
- Sensory toys like rainmakers, rattles andÂ shakers.
- Musical toys like drums andÂ cymbals â€“ anything that makes a noise when children can bash it. (Not toy flutes, as cleaning the mouthpieces after children have usedÂ them would be difficult in Wukwashiâ€™s context and we donâ€™t want to spread chest infections etc.)
- Balls of all sizes, but must be soft, whether sponge or plastic.
- Trucks/cars etc, large and small, (but not too small to easily grasp,) that can be pushed along.
- Activity toys where you press buttons or pull levers and something happens like a noise or a flashing light. (If battery-operated, has to be a standard AA or AAA type of battery that can be purchased in Zambia, but not button lithium cell batteries.)
- Hand puppets â€“ the sort you pull on like a glove â€“ and finger puppets.
- Large, fat wax crayons and colouring pencils (easy to hold in hands with contracted fingers).
- Colouring books.
When you have the toys…
All toys need to be packed into sturdy (preferably double-walled), well-taped and sealed cardboard boxes, preferably no smaller than 18x12x12 inches.
Please type the following notice and tape itÂ onto two sides of the box:
For Wukwashi Wa Nzambi, Zambia.
Contents: Freely-given therapy toys. Not for re-sale. For charity use.
Please address and post the box to: Tony Cox, Medical Missionary News, Unit 1, Victory Close, Fulmar Way, Wickford, Essex,Â SS11 8YW
The box will be sent on the next available container. We are grateful to Medical Missionary News for their amazing support in freely-freighting the boxes to Zambia.