My Dolly – Part 2 (Christmas update!)

Happy New Year from all of us at The Small Things!  This has been a hugely exciting year for us with a lot of changes, and we are so grateful for your continued support!  Before we move onto everything that is happening in 2014, we thought it would be nice to share some images from Christmas at Nkoaranga with you, and, as you may remember, on Christmas Day, each child was presented with their own unique and beautifully handmade doll (more on that just below!).  But firstly, here are some generally Christmassy pictures for you to enjoy!
Everyone tucking into Christmas lunch!
Fanueli with new toys (and cake!)
Lulu trying (potentially her first ever) cake!
Mama Linda and Peace with the beautiful cake
which was donated (thank you so much!).

Now, you may remember ‘My Dolly – Part One’ back in July (you can find it by typing ‘My Dolly – Part One’ into the search option on our blog page!)?  For those of you who have forgotten, it was a guest blog by the fantastic Anna Black who had the idea of giving each child at Nkoaranga their own doll at Christmas to treasure, and then set about contacting some equally fantastic doll-makers to make this idea a reality!  She specifically chose Waldorf-style dolls as they ‘are very huggable with lovely appealing faces’ but also, because they are all handmade they can be made with ‘culturally appropriate materials’.  They were all packed up and posted out to Tanzania in preparation for Christmas Day.

In her own words, Anna said, 

“I could see how much comfort and security [her own daughters] gained from these particular toys, even though they have both been lucky enough to spend their whole lives being loved and cared for by both parents.  I thought how significant such a comfort item might be to a child living without a parent – however well and lovingly cared for they otherwise were.”

You can see how delighted Vicky was to receive her very own doll!

The children were all so happy to receive their very own doll on Christmas Day.  Bekka was there to experience their reaction and said that ‘there were thrilled!’  We want to say a massive thank you to Anna Black, as well as to the amazing doll-makers who were responsible for making this happen!  You all made these children very happy (as you can see from the massive smiles!).

Jennie (
Shelley (
Susan Healy (

All of the children over the age of 2 got their very own doll.

Each doll had the child’s name written on it.

All the dolls were very beautifully dressed and huggable!

Maureen Kubwa with a grin that couldn’t get much bigger!

Eman with the soft-toy dog that he received!
Since then, Bekka said that although some of the kids are more open to sharing, a few kids were definitely holding onto theirs (made more difficult by the littlest kids who are enjoying stealing them whenever the big kids aren’t looking!).  Overall, it looks like these dolls have already given the children a huge amount of happiness and excitement, and we are sure that they will treasure them for a long time to come!
Thank you so much again to everyone involved in what has been such a thoughtful project!
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