Today I would like to share with you the story of a very special doll, the Batsiranai Doll.
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.)
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!
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,
and doll Daya also joins in at circle time.
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.