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CHILDREN'S PLAY IS HEALTHY!
About 300 kids from four different primary schools around Joburg got toys for Christmas. Photo by Malereko Tae  ~ 

MZANSI has been through a rough year but even with the last exams of the year finished, some kids have no rest from poverty . . .

This is why Play Africa and Spin Master Corp launched Spin Master’s global Toy Movement campaign at Constitution Hill in Joburg.

About 300 children from four different primary schools around Joburg, as well as Nkosi’s Haven, received toys, meals and enjoyed live entertainment on the day.

Gretchen Prangley, CEO of Play Africa, spoke to SunWellbeing at the fun-filled day designed to encourage the kids to have a real good time.

She said: “Neuroscience research consistently shows the importance of play and stimulation in children’s healthy development.

“That’s why we should make provisions for play in every child’s daily life.”

According to the United Nations’ Children’s Fund, only 29% of children in Mzansi have access to safe, child-appropriate play areas in their communities.

Play Africa, with partners Just Fun, Nickelodeon South Africa, Ty Inc and Value Logistics, will distribute 44 000 toys to hospitals, orphanages, schools and community centres across the country during the festive season.

“Spin Master’s vision is to make life more fun.

“Based on our position in the toy industry, we feel it’s our responsibility to help children in need,” said Mark Segal, Spin master’s executive vice-president: finance and chief financial officer.

“The Toy Movement has as its goal to bring inspiration and the opportunity to learn, grow and play to children living in challenging situations – that’s who we hope to inspire.

“Many of us have roots in South Africa, so this is a particularly gratifying initiative.”

Mamoji Mollo, a teacher at Parktown Public School, one of the schools involved in the project, said she wished the initiative could continue forever simply because of the happiness expressed on the children’s faces.

“This is the first time some of them received a gift and it’s very touching.”

“Said Prangley: “Play is how children learn, and every child’s right to play is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

“We are thrilled to help bring joy and the power of play to thousands of children and their families this holiday season with Spin Master’s Toy Movement.”

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