The Story of the Batsiranai Doll

Today I would like to share with you the story of a very special doll, the Batsiranai Doll.

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The idea behind it is simple yet powerful :
Artisans in Zimbabwe handmake two beautiful “twin” Waldorf style dolls,
you buy the Batsiranai Doll from Traidcraft’s fair trade online shop , one is sent to you and it’s “twin” stays in Zimbabwe and is given to a child in a family affected by HIV.
For many of these children this is their first doll.

Batsiranai means working together in Shona, and that is really what this doll is all about.
All twin dolls are made by the Batsiranai Mothers Group, a group of around 100 women, all of them mothers of special needs children. You can read more about the Batsiranai Story here.

The dolls are beautifully made of brightly coloured fabric and have a small, embroidered pocket on the front,
(our’s has a little giraffe, but other dolls have other animals.)

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The little pockets are perfect for hiding all kinds of special seashells,stones or little love notes,
and, I imagine when the time comes the doll is perfect for looking after a tiny tooth until the toothfairy comes to collect it!

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Since the doll arrived in our home we have spent a lot of time thinking about where it’s twin might be, does it live with a little girl or a little boy? Maybe a baby? Are they happy? What games do they play, what food do they eat?
We have named our doll Daya and she is very loved. Arthur likes to hug her when he sleeps,

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and doll Daya also joins in at circle time.

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The doll has been a constant reminder to be grateful and think of others, and it has sparked many thoughts and conversations.
The Batsiranai Twin Doll is such a beautiful idea, and I hope when you do your Holiday shopping you maybe remember to buy one of these sweet little dolls. I love knowing that our doll does not just make my children happy and keep them company but that it’s twin is another child’s favourite (& maybe only) toy.
Wishing you a wonderful day.

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8 Responses to The Story of the Batsiranai Doll

  1. Stella says:

    What a beautiful idea, I shall definately forward this link to friends and family. I will be adding one my little girls Christmas list. Thank you for posting this idea.

    Stella
    http://stella-thislife.blogspot.com/

  2. Rain says:

    Oh thank you so much! There’s a wee baby coming into our chosen family soon. This is the perfect gift.

  3. awww, i love the circle time picture and the snuggly picture, and the dolls little face xxx

  4. Eva says:

    Beautiful!

  5. Sarah says:

    Thanks so much for posting about this! I had no idea and went and got one immediately. It make me feel wonderful that I can help others when I purchase things for my daughter instead of just buying another toy that comes from people who are most likely unfairly treated. Santa Claus is bringing this doll to my sweet girl and it will probably go in our Africa continent bag (which is severely lacking) so there are so many great things about this!

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  7. Mary Hassall says:

    I have been a satisfied customer for years and Trade is V.vg. The idea of these dolls is wonderful but they are DRY CLEAN ONLY! Can you imagine the state a doll will be in after a cuddle in bed and a chew and a suck and given a sticky sweet (you told me to share mummy) etc. if it can’t be put in the washing machine? A mistake that I hope will quickly be rectified. My doll was going to a grandchild now it is going back to Tradecraft.

    • Hi Mary!
      Honestly, we have not had a need to clean the doll so it really hasn’t come up. The doll is very loved here and often goes into the garden with my little ones. Spot-cleaning has been working fine for us to get rid of the few stains that have ended up on the doll.