Gifting Dolls To Orphans In The UAE

Posted on July 17, 2014 by Dumyé Rag Dolls | 3 Comments


For every doll purchased we pledge to gift a doll to an orphan so they may make his or her own in an art workshop. Last month the giving began and the beneficiaries were children residing at the Sharjah Social Care Center in the United Arab Emirates. (Please Note: Children's faces are obscured in pictures for their safety)

The kids began the day by drawing a self-portrait surrounded by the things they love most. It was an opportunity for self-reflection and a tangible starting point for the children to share their stories, dreams and hopes with both each other and our volunteers. 

  • The children had many craft supplies at their fingertips to create their dolls.
  • These dolls were created by two children who participated in the workshop. 
  • The volunteers were hands on helping all the kids bring their ideas to life.
  • An autistic boy dreams of being a photographer.
  • This boy created his doll in the image of the volunteer helping him. {love}
  • Working together was half the fun.
  • His pharro doll was inspired by his Egyptian roots.
  • He said he wanted to be a super hero so he could help people
  • He grabbed some fabric markers and got to work.
  • She has a passion for fashion and she had the opportunity to explore that.
  • The day was a crash course in simple sewing techniques.
  • And we have a train conductor!
  •  Everyone was sharing ideas and exploring the creative possibilities.
  • His doll was sewn together in his image, celebrating the cultural dress of the region.
  • She is the cutest little super hero and he loves karate.
  • This little guy not only wanted a doll who was a super hero - he too wanted a super hero mask!


We then introduced the participants to a blank cloth doll and a variety of craft supplies. They where invited to create a doll based on their drawing or anything else they felt inspired by. The excitement in the room was wonderful as the children searched for the perfect materials to bring their project to life. Some designed the dolls in the image of their ideal self, others paid homage to what they know about where they come from and some opted out of depicting themselves entirely, choosing instead to create their dolls in the image of the volunteer mentoring them through the day. {♥} No matter the inspiration, what they created was beautiful.

Once the kids completed their dolls they wrote a dream, hope or intention on a small piece of cloth, tucked it into the dolls Purpose Pocket and sewed the pocket shut for safekeeping. Before taking their dolls home with them, they proudly shared their creations and the meaningful stories behind them. 

  • The Dumyé and START team with some of our volunteers in front of the Social Care Center.
  • Sahar Wahbeh with the ready-made dolls, awaiting the children to arrive.
  •  Mahbouba Karim, from START, playing with one of the children and the doll he choose as his own.
  • This little guy and his new pirate.
  • 'Be Happy' is what the doll says, and if you could see his face you would know that he was.
  • He is only a few months old and now has a karate kid to dream up wild adventures with.
  • The children held on tight to their new friends.
  • This little girl was just as sweet as can be.
  • This young man is suffering from polio. He will surely enjoy the company of his new cowboy friend.
  • She chose this doll because it reminded her of an angel.


After the workshop was complete we had a chance to meet with the wee ones, 0-4 years old. Since these children were not able to participate in the workshop we delivered ready-made dolls to them that our volunteers helped us personalize. Each child was given the opportunity to select the doll they liked most and immediately began playing together with them. 

“I was so encouraged by the smiles on the children’s faces. They openly shared their passions, their ideas, their dreams of who they want to become. And when you are talking about a group of boys and girls who have been abandoned by their families, removed from abusive homes, or waiting out their only known parents’ release from jail, this could not be more important. Because through those conversations we hear hope.” –Sahar Wahbeh, Founder of Dumyé

It is Dumyé’s mission to bring love and light to not only our children but the children who have not been spoken for. This gifting of dolls was just the beginning.




A special thank you goes out to:

  • START, a non-profit organization founded by Art Dubai and the Al Madad Foundation, for helping to arrange the day.
  • Maraya Arts Center for giving us the space to hold the workshop.
  • Maddy & Eva for donating a variety of beautiful fabrics for the children to explore.


Posted in Behind The Scenes, Giving, News



3 Responses


July 20, 2014

Thank you Nadia & Florence, not only for your kind words but your continued support for Dumyé and it’s mission. xo


July 20, 2014

Sahar, I am so moved by your mission and its absolute success; you have already touched so many lives, congratulations! And thank you for sharing this wonderful event. I look forward to further updates and the growth of your important work!


July 19, 2014

Dearest Dumye (Saher),

Little things move me to happy tears … The wonderful gift of mentoring, creating & giving you have given these children is beyond words .. & you did not stop there but you invited us all to share in your giving. Thank You.

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