Ultimate Ice Cream is honored to partner with HADAYA Toys for our Flavor of the Month program this August. Our crafty Spinners, Alexis and Kim, have created a delicate yet luscious flavor inspired by the delicious Habibi Baklava, which is made by one of Hadaya's co-founders. All profits from the sale of the baklava benefit the projects of Hadaya Toys. Read on to learn about Hadaya Toys and its mission, or visit their website www.hadayatoys.org
HADAYA Toys is a grassroots organization dedicated to supporting the overlooked needs of refugee children through creativity and play by providing them with 'developmental toolkits' that include educational and team-building toys, art supplies and books. Typically, the children have been deeply psychologically impacted by war and have little or no outlet for creative play and engagement during the long days they spend in the camps. This often leads to violence and even more trauma. HADAYA believes that this small gesture will put a smile on the children’s faces and offer a precious glimmer of hope during this time of serious humanitarian crisis. The toys are timeless, durable and designed to be shared.
Imagine walking out the door never to return to the place you once called home. The sounds of gunshots and exploding bombs fill the air as you stumble through the streets, clutching your mother's hand, wondering why your world is crashing down around you. You're only three, but already you've experienced more heartache and destruction than most people will ever know in a lifetime. You are a refugee of the Syrian civil war. ~ Cappy Tosetti, Spotlight on Hadaya, The Laurel of Asheville, July 2015
There are currently over four million Syrian refugees - the largest refugee population worldwide. At least two million of them are children... and counting. They have suffered deep psychological effects from the war, the majority of them unable to attend school, instead, forced to work to help their families survive. We want to bring them an unexpected moment of joy!
“When you give a child a toy, they forget the pain of the past, the uncertainty of the future, and remember what it’s like to simply be a child.”
Hadaya Toys was developed in response to the current Syrian refugee crisis, widely considered to be largest humanitarian disaster since WWII; however, we are concerned with all refugee children, worldwide. We believe this ‘lost generation’ deserves opportunities to experience moments of joy and fun, and that these moments are invaluable to a child’s overall health, development and well-being.
IMMEDIATE PSYCHOLOGICAL RELIEF
Our aim is to address the immediate psychological needs of these children who form the majority, and most vulnerable portion, of the refugee population by bringing toys that not only provide instant joy but help them overcome distress caused by violence, conflict and displacement.
ALTERNATIVES to VIOLENCE
Not only do we want to remind them that they are not forgotten, we also hope to provide creative alternatives to the violence and exploitation that many of them are subjected to in the camps whilst encouraging positive group behavior and teamwork.
FILLING THE SCHOOL GAP
Most of these children are unable to attend school. There are waiting lists for the precious few that do manage to set up. The children have no tools with which to develop their cognitive or creative skills, which, research tells us, are essential to developmental health. We do this by providing ‘toy toolkits’ that support their developmental learning needs.
ELEVATE PUBLIC AWARENESS
We also aim to elevate public awareness around the importance of the humanitarian plight of refugee children around the world by developing and installing educational exhibits; by connecting children through online engagement; and by collecting personalized soccer balls.
A secondary purpose of Hadaya is to assist local 'on the ground' community groups and projects who are also addressing needs of the refugee community, by offering small immediate-need grants.
WHERE WE WORK
We distribute anywhere there are large concentrations of refugee children living in semi-permanent arrangements. Currently, the largest concentration of refugees is in Lebanon, Jordan,Turkey and Egypt, although we foresee expanding into European territory with the recent large influx of refugees.