In partnership with the START Foundation, the Dumyé team visited nine orphanages in Egypt last year in keeping with our promise to always gift a doll to a child in need with every doll purchased.
Working with international organisations SOS Children's Villages and FACE, as well as smaller national orphanages, over 600 dolls were customised by the children during art workshops where staff, social workers and the Dumyé team helped give them an outlet for their imagination.
The kids start sketching out their ideas
Boys and girls started by sketching out their ideas on paper before being given the fabrics and tools to bring their drawing to life.
A young lady proudly shows off her design
Amongst the class we spotted footballers, doctors, nurses and superheroes being created by the children who were keen to know more about sewing.
They dream of being doctors
Some of the youngest members of the orphanages were gifted ready-made dolls as well so no child was left without a new toy to play with.
Two older boys tending to one of our youngest doll recipients.
Whilst the fantastic support of SOS Villages and FACE helps create and fund a safe haven for children with nowhere to go, we were told that as some of the smaller orphanages could not gain government licensing they had no legal ability to place the children up for adoption and as such, many stayed there until they were old enough to leave of their own accord.
Cutting, coloring, sewing and laughing together
One young man who stole the heart of Dumyé founder Sahar expressed how much he wanted to be a singer when he grew up and even wrote this in the Purpose Pocket™ of his doll. He spoke about his hopes of being adopted one day, even though he had previously been placed with a family when he was much younger, they had returned him to the orphanage a year later without explanation. None-the-less he was never seen without a smile.
We had some play time with the girls in their room
As with all our philanthropic trips, this one proved to be enlightening and educational as the teams working behind the scenes at the centres as well as the children themselves offered a unique insight into the conditions in which a child would find themselves at an orphanage. One organisation had a number of young kids who simply spent their week at the centre and would return home to relatives over the weekend as their family’s could not afford to look after them full time.
We left humbled, heartened and committed to continuing our work with children in need.