► Groups seek toys that shun violence and sexism, improve lives of children ►
Non-governmental organizations in Spain have launched toy drives this holiday season aimed at encouraging Spaniards to give gifts that combine social conscience with the desire to provide less-fortunate children in Spain and abroad with happier year-end holidays than their families might otherwise be able to afford.
The annual toy drive of the Spanish Red Cross (Cruz Roja) this year invites Spaniards to donate creative and imaginative toys for children in Spain, being mindful to avoid toys that either promote violence or sexist stereotypes prevalent in society.
Following the recommendations of the UN’s Declaration of Universal Rights of Children, this year’s toy drive carries the theme Sus derechos en Juego (Your rights in play), and aims to collect 120,000 new toys for more than 60,000 vulnerable children and adolescents, ranging in age from newborns to 17-year-olds. The organization’s website provides guidelines for the kinds of toys for each age and drop-off points across Spain for those wishing to donate.
Overseas development NGO Educo, meanwhile, has launched an online catalog and invited Spaniards to donate practical gifts that include medicines, school supplies, glasses, solar lanterns, sacks of seeds or even laying hens to children and their families in the countries where Educo carries out development and anti-poverty work in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Ranging in price from 3 euros to 850 euros, the gifts listed in Educo’s online Catalog of Solidarity Gifts are designed to improve the daily lives of the recipient children and their families in countries that include Burkina Faso, Guatemala, El Salvador and the Philippines.
Similar toy drive initiatives have been launched by other NGOs active in Spain, including Solidary Kids’ Los Reyes son los Niños (Children are the Kings) project, the Reyes Magos de Verdad (The Real Kings) initiative, Cooperación Internacional’s Una Sonrisa por Navidad (A Smile for Christmas) and others collecting funds and providing meals and good cheer for less-fortunate children, their families and the elderly during this holiday season.