Cape Town, March 2015: Little Bo Babies launches its 'When I Grow Up…' doll, an initiative that will help young girls from poor and underprivileged areas have a vision for their future, and a tangible reminder of that vision as they grow up.
Little Bo Babies, a small business that turns children’s drawings into soft toys and is owned and operated by Gaya Schatz, mom of twin girls in Cape Town, recently announced the launch of the 'When I Grow Up…' doll, aimed at providing a way of reminding young girls of what they want to become one day, but who might ordinarily have little hope for a bright future.
“When I hear stories of young girls who are forced to become child brides and stop their education, my heart breaks for them,” says Gaya. “As a mom of small twin girls I know how fiercely protective I am over them, and how I would do anything to protect them. More than that, I would encourage their hopes and dreams. A child’s dreams can be as fragile as crystal and easily crushed underfoot by a careless word or a thoughtless gesture, but if encouraged, you’ll find it can be as resilient as titanium.”
“Hope is a potent thing,” continues Gaya, “With our 'When I Grow Up…' doll, that is what we want to do – make hope and vision come alive, and stay alive.”
Founded in 2013, Little Bo Babies employs previously disadvantaged women from the community, empowering them with seamstress skills, (business skills) and providing them with employment.
“One third of girls in developing countries are married before they turn 18; one in nine are married before they turn 15,” continues Gaya. “At the current rate of child marriage, it is expected that an average of 14.2 million girls will be married each year. What is becoming of their hopes and dreams? Who is listening? Who is telling them that they are precious and important and have something to contribute? The 'When I Grow Up…' doll gives their dream a voice. It turns their inner dreams into a tangible, touchable object that they can literally hold on to, no matter what is going on around them.”
Gaya’s vision is not only for child brides, but also for those who are survivors of abuse or who are living in dire poverty, “Rape and violence against women and children is a statistic that we hear about all the time,” continues Gaya. “We want to do our bit to keep hope alive in these girls.”
“Our 'When I Grow Up…' doll will hopefully help our girls remember that there is more to life than the poverty they are living in and experiencing daily, and might prove as a reminder that, if they work hard and don’t give up, anything is possible.”
If you wish to support the 'When I Grow Up…' doll initiative as part of your CSI budget or charity efforts, or would like to find out how else you can support the 'When I Grow Up…' initiative, please contact Gaya: firstname.lastname@example.org
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