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Our new Toy Library celebrates the most basic right of a child – Having Fun

It’s easy to take for granted the idea of what a childhood should be, but for children living in slum communities life is very different. Having worked in Ambedkar Nagar slum for 10 years, we have personally seen the difficulties young children are faced with on daily basis.

Living in very tight conditions they do not have the space or access to simple recreational resources like reading or playing. Coming from low-income families these underprivileged children are also simply unable to find time to just have fun and be kids during their childhood — instead they are too busy helping at home or working to support their families from a very early age. These financial difficulties that they have to face from such a young age are so constant and emotionally draining that it leaves them without any capacity to enjoy basic recreational moments, reading and playing with toys.

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We all know that children love to play, but what we may not know is the importance of play in a child’s life. Play is essential to every area of a child’s growth and development, it provides a means for energy to be put to use. It strengthens and refines small and large motor skills, and it builds stamina and strength. Play is significant to physical development, without it the body could not grow and develop as it should. Through play, children learn basic concepts such as colours, counting, how to build things, and how to solve problems. Thinking and reasoning skills are also at work every time a child engages in some type of play. When taking part in play children learn to relate to one another, negotiate roles, share, and also learn to belong to a group and how to be part of a team.

It is clear that all of these skills nurtured at an early age are crucial to a child’s development, whether it be in life or in sport. This is why the OSCAR Foundation has started an initiative to wrestle back some of that lost childhood and ensure that children in our football and education programmes have the best possible chance to develop.

How? We have opened a new OSCAR Toy Library to give children aged between 2 and 12 a space to indulge in recreational activities where learning is all part of the fun. Not only will they get to play with toys that they would not normally have at home but they will have access to regular educational workshops focussing on reading, story telling and english.

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For making this possible we would like to say a big thank you to Archana Gupta, she initiated this idea and helped us raise the funds to make it happen , Archana has also established a team of  friends to work alongside her who are going to enable us to successfully run this project.

“This idea came to me when I started going to the slums to teach English and realised that most of the kids were just hanging around in the tiny lanes because they had nothing better to do and no ways to entertain themselves. So I decided to start a place where these kids could come just to relax unwind and play along with some learning aspect involved. Once the idea sprouted in my head I sent out a simple whatsapp to all my friends asking them if they wanted to contribute and the response I got was overwhelming . Stuff just kept pouring in and soon we had a room full of of amazing games toys books puzzles etc. I m super thrilled with the way the library has shaped up and am looking forward to making sure that it’s contributes positively towards the children present and future. Oscar has done a great job in this and has been extremely efficient in getting this started and going . Kudos to them for doing this so quickly and passionately.” ArchanaGupta

Finally we would like to thank Komal Aidasani, the Aidasani family and friends who have also played a big part in helping us raise the funds, without them we wouldn’t be able to make this happen.

“I am thrilled to see how the money we raised has been put to great use!  I cannot imagine my childhood without the characters, heroes, fantasies and stories I created through toys – an eternal part of any child. I am happy to see that OSCAR Foundation has managed to create a glimpse of that through this project.” Komal Aidasani

If you would like to get involved or want to know more information then please get in touch with us: getinvolved@oscar-foundation.org