With Mandela Day approaching on 18 July 2015, Little Bo Baby Company, founded by the wonderfully creative Gayathrie Schatz, is aiming to make a difference by running a very special competition in remembrance of the great icon. Children from schools and children’s homes around South Africa are being invited to share what Nelson Mandela meant to them and submit their drawing for a 'Remembrance Doll Competition'. Five lucky children will have their drawing of Nelson Mandela turned into a plush toy! Winners will receive their very own Remembrance Doll plush toy and the general public will also be able to buy them online. Little Bo Baby is undertaking the project in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Trust.
Gaya is an entrepreneur toymaker from Cape Town who has founded a wonderful social enterprise that brings children's imagination to life. Her company turns the drawings made by children into perfectly unique and loveable soft toys. Gaya strongly believes in supporting her local community and for that reason has taken previously disadvantaged and unemployed women from Hout Bay, South Africa, and trained them to create Little Bo Baby plush toys and dolls. Little Bo Babies is also an online community for Moms, and Moms-to-be, to support one another, share stories and talk about all things for baby. You can learn more about Gaya and her business by reading her LoA startup story here.
Gaya shared more about what inspired her to launch her Mandela Day 'Remembrance Doll' project ....
So, what inspired you to initiate this project?
When contemplating Mandela Day I was struck by the question of what can I do? I’m just a mom living in Cape Town. Yes, I’m a momtrepreneur, and I have a passion for helping young children dream big and achieve those dreams. But, what can I do? So, I came up with the idea of the Mandela Day 'Remembrance Doll'. An idea that I hope will help my own children, and other children, remember the values that Nelson Mandela stood for. As a mother the values that Madiba upheld (freedom, justice, equal rights, reconciliation and respect for others) are values that I want my children to live by in everyday life – not just Mandela Day – so naturally this is a project I put my full weight behind in my own home.
So, at Little Bo Babies we are very excited to honour Tata Mandela and inspire the children of South Africa to keep remembering the values he stood for. South Africa would not be the country it is today if not for Madiba’s forgiveness and love. It is important that the next generation be taught to live out these same values.
Why the Remembrance Doll?
Tata was an amazing man and we are excited for the children of South Africa to remember all the wonderful things he stood for and fought for. By allowing children to remember Tata through their own drawings we create a simple and creative way for them to express in art what they might yet know how to say in words. When a childs drawing is brought to 'life' as a soft cuddly toy we hopefully capture their memories in a very tangible and meaningful way.
All our Remembrance Dolls are handmade in Cape Town, South Africa and we support local women from underprivileged communities.
How does the Remembrance Doll Facebook Competition work?
You submit your childrens drawing of Nelson Mandela by placing it on the Little Bo Babies Facebook page. The five drawings that receive the most likes on our Facebook page will be notified and their drawings will be made into a unique Little Bo Baby plush toy. Each of the five winners will receive their plush toy for free AND their plush toy will also be made available for the general public to buy on our website. Twenty percent of the total profit from the Remembrance Dolls will go to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Trust.
Don't worry if you are not one of the five lucky competition winners, you can still contact Gaya and her team of creative crafters and they will happily turn your childs masterpiece into a wonderful plush toy. To learn how to do this and more about the competition visit the Little Bo Baby Remembrance Dolls page.
So, get drawing, submitting and voting on our Facebook page right away. Good luck and have great fun remembering the wonderful icon that is Nelson Mandela!