A good friend gave us a beautiful Dumyé Doll for our daughter. Dumyé is a social enterprise that donates a doll for every doll you buy. The dolls are given to orphans or vulnerable children around the world who have suffered from trauma, disease or poverty. According to UNICEF there are over 140 million orphans all over the world, and 28 million children that have been forcibly displaced.
I remember first hearing about Dumyé and wondering if there was real value in the idea. Surely there are better things to give a child in need? Like a blanket? Or food? A little bit of research opened my eyes to the fact that a child’s need to play is as basic a requirement for its healthy development. These dolls serve as a toy, a comforting companion, and a silent friend, providing the child emotional security and optimism.
Dumyé was started by a mother wanting to give her daughter a gift that gives back while teaching her the importance of giving. You can make your doll to order online, or buy a DIY kit and make the doll yourself. Dumyé also runs art workshops for children in need that serve as therapeutic session.
Dolls like these are also called comfort, trauma or charity dolls. There are numerous sites like The Giving Doll; Cuddle and Kind; Dolls of Hope, & The Doll Kind where you can buy similar dolls that are donated to children in refugee camps, hospitals, and orphanages.
Alternatively, you can follow some guidelines from organisations like this and this and make your own doll to donate. Bookmark this post for the next time you need to gift a friend with children.
I am continually amazed by how such simple ideas become businesses with great impact. It makes me feel like I shouldn’t let any idea pass me by, no matter how basic it may seem.