Tag Archives: toys


The last couple of weeks have been so busy…what with puppet workshop preparations, toy-making, book giving, finalising the details of our new crafty project for schools here in Algiers and meeting new families that need help things have been hectic ..and then made so much more difficult because of a bug that has circulated around my home that knocked us for six and left me literally wanting to hide beneath the bed-covers too weak to do anything else….fortunately though we are now well on the mend!

But never mind all that, what I really wanted to say was a huge, huge thank you to all of you lovely lot that have been sending in donations! Too many to add pictures of everything but here are just a few..

An amazing dinosaur and unicorn that have been handmade.


A fab collection of hats and lots of treats for the children! I can’t tell you how excited the kids get when they are given a pack of stickers, a few hair clips, a ball, or a packet of pencils-such small gifts but they always bring the biggest smiles!


And what girl doesn’t like a sparkly bracelet?!


And a few of the toys that have been arriving….isn’t the elephant just the cutest!


People keep asking when the cut off date is for our toy drive.Well, we are hoping to give out soft toys to as many children as we can for the whole of this year so you still have quite a few months left to make something marvelous or for the non crafters to buy something beautiful.



As always, thank you all so much for your support and for choosing to make a difference.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Emma x


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You’re the best!

You lot are just wonderful! It has only been two weeks since I wrote about our ‘toy drive’ and our plans to give out as many toys as we can this year but, I have already been inundated with emails telling me about the fabulous toys that so many of you are in the process of making and of groups that are going to do teddy and doll making as their monthly challenges and then send them on to us…it is just absolutely brilliant that you have all leapt on-board wanting to help. Thank you!

So far 96 toys have been sent in, that includes a whopping 45(some pictured below) from the lovelies at ‘Loving Hands’.


People have also contacted to say that they would love to help but don’t craft so ask can they buy a toy instead? The answer is Yes, of course! So many of our supporters make amazing things and they like to gift those things to the children and families we help but, bought toys are very much welcomed too.

For those that sew or would like to try, Del told me about this wonderful free pattern for a ‘ Mermaid Milly doll’ available for free here  I haven’t had time to try it out yet but, it does look really good and there are accompanying youtube videos too for the more visual learners among you.

A week or so ago, a friend posted in a facebook group that i’m in  asking if there was anyone who could make some little dolls for her. She will shortly be visiting children in a cancer ward at Mustapha Pasha hospital in Algiers and she wanted some small toys to give to the younger children there. She was quite specific about what she wanted- small dolls with no facial features wearing typical muslim dress (a scarf and a long dress) I agreed to do it but couldn’t find any type of pattern on line that was suitable….I wanted simple as she needed them quickly and I also wanted them to be pretty-ish too. So I made up my own. In case you fancy making one I will add the pattern here  They remind me a bit of Russian dolls.



And for now, that’s it from me.

Hoping you all have a very happy weekend!

Emma x



Filed under algeria, charity, community, crafts, donations, Uncategorized

Because it is never the child’s fault…


It’s cold in Algiers at the moment,  not quite snowing like it is in Chrea (pictured above) but it is wet and very windy and much colder than I remember it being before…so when my boiler broke a week ago it really was the last thing that I needed! It will hopefully be fixed soon but in the meantime I am sat huddled around an electric fan heater while wearing several pairs of socks, 3 cardigans and boiling up pans of water just to do the washing up….(I keep telling myself that I will never take these things for granted ever again but, I know that is probably not true as it is so easy to forget once the moment is over…) but it got me thinking about the people who live without the basics all the time, the ones for who the moment is never over, the ones like the family I was told about the other day who are currently living in two tents-just thin plastic sheeting protecting them from the thrashing rain and gailforce wind….. How ever does it get to that stage?….The choices we make? Surely no-one chooses to live in hardship and poverty do they?


I am frequently told that people can’t be trusted, that people always lie about their circumstances or at least exaggerate them.  We rigorously check the details of all families before they are added to the list of those we help and unfortunately during the process have, on occasion come across those that are lying  so yes, there are those that are dishonest but, I like to think it is a small minority rather than the norm. Besides, is it really fair that ALL people  get tarred with the same brush? Like beggars for example, there are lots of beggars in Algiers. Some wave prescriptions asking for money to buy medicine, some seek sympathy and money because they are disabled in some way, women sit with babies and children with lost looks on their faces and there are also many refugees from Mali and Syria who appear to operate in groups…are ALL of these lying? With the average wage being very low, much lower than the cost of living some say beggars earn more than those who are employed.. like it’s a legitimate  career option with zero start up costs or something. Do people really want to beg? whatever the reasons of the adult I know for certain that it is not the lifestyle choice of the child sat on his mother’s lap, or of the group of young girls that ask for spare change. I know, because as children they have no choice.

Assisting vulnerable children has always been one of our priorities but this year we plan to step it up a little and go beyond just assisting we want to help create happy memories for these children. Are you in? I hope so as together we can do so much.


Have a wonderful (and warm) week!

Emma x



Filed under algeria, community, Uncategorized

Eid Appeal 2012

Our Eid Appeal for 2012 is now well under-way, in fact there are just two more weeks left to collect donations!

People have been so generous sending things in, simple treats like balloons, sweets and small toys- all the things that children love in addition to some new clothing.

This year our aim is to give gift parcels to 750 children. So far, we have 510 -which is more than we gave out last year or the year before that but, we still need 240 more to reach our target – Can you help?


Filed under algeria, donation, projects


This morning I received an email from Carolina Gonzalez, an Algerian Action supporter who lives in Tenerife. Carolina is an avid crafter and among her many  skills she is a talented doll maker, in fact she has been making and customising dolls for over a decade!

Anyway, to celebrate the launch of her new website she has very kindly decided to auction one of her creations and donate 50% of the winning bid  to us.

The doll, called Salvia (Sage) is  one of a kind, full details of the doll’s origins and the reconstruction process that took place can be found on the website here    as can details on how to bid. The auction will close on Friday 16th March.

There isn’t any minimum bid and every penny towards our work is a huge help. To give you an idea just £1.25 provides fruit and vegetables to a family for a week through our Fruit tree programme  and £5 will pay for a basic food pack.

If you like the doll and are able to bid please do so otherwise help us by spreading the word among your family and friends.

Irrespective of any money raised it is a wonderfully thoughtful gesture-Thank you Carolina!

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Filed under crafts, donation, Events


Is it that that the weather has become colder and more people are staying at home crafting and clearing out I don’t know but, the past few weeks have seen so many items being donated to those in need- which is just fabulous! We usually send one shipment of donations per month but now with winter fast approaching that will increase as hats, gloves and warm blankets will need to be sent too.

This is just a small selection of donations that have been received but, huge thanks and appreciated are owed to all who have sent things in. Thank you all for your support!

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A mountain of toys

The crafters at ‘loving hands’ must have been crafting like crazy recently if the eight massive boxes of donations that we received this week are anything to go by.  As usual everything is just  fantastic! Beautiful baby clothes, things for toddlers and older children, blankets and lots and lots of toys- toys of every shape, colour and design imaginable .


Once again,  thank you so much for such wonderful donations!

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