Do you remember that dusty case of checkers lying under your bed, the box of toy cars in the attic or your lifeless action figure perched on a long abandoned shelf? Did you ever realize how significant they were in making you the person you are today?
Toys are not just vessels for pleasure and enjoyment, but are often a crucial part of any child’s learning process. According to a number of psychological studies, play is a very important part of cognitive development, motor function acquisition, language acquisition, social development and emotional development offering children a fun and pleasurable way to help develop their personality. Toys are also an important catalyst in developing children’s speech, vision and hearing development up until six years of age according to Child Psychology’s Developmental Milestones .
In the Philippines, where more than 23.1 million people earn less an a dollar a day , families have no choice but to spend their daily income on basic necessities such as food and shelter, leaving little room for the simple joy of toys . For the children of these families, they are left with no other option than to be content in playing with rusty tin cans, stones and even the dirt, each day longing to have a simple toy to call their own.
Similarly child welfare institutes such as private and government funded orphanages in the Philippines also do not posses the necessary funding to extend their services past basic care and social welfare support. As a result abandoned, orphaned and neglected children very rarely get the opportunity to experience the pleasure of using toys, thus hindering their social and emotional development.
In contrast, children in developed nations are often acclaimed to have “too many toys” and at times do not often appreciate the true values of items that could truly bring sincere happiness to children in the developing world. Whilst this is a prime example of the consumer world gone mad, it has also been widely considered that too many toys can be detrimental to a child’s development as it limits a child’s use of imagination and creativity.
Over the years, Volunteer for the Visayans (VFV) has managed to accumulate a number of donations, enabling us to distribute simple used toys to children from disadvantaged backgrounds and also to children and youth living in social welfare residential centers. This May 12th, following a request from S.O.S. Children’s Village in Tacloban, VFV were able to distribute two boxes of toys and a sack of sports balls to the child residents of the center.
If your child’s toy box is looking a little overcrowded and you’re thinking of discarding a few items to the trash, we ask you to reconsider. Volunteer for the Visayans will happily take any used toy (so long as it is not broken) to distribute to some of the most disadvantaged children in Leyte.
If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to ship any goods, we recommend you locate your nearest balikbayan box sender through a simple Google search. Any goods can be sent to:-
Volunteer for the Visayans
Lot 63, Cluster 2, Barangay 64
Tacloban City, 6500
In addition to toys, VFV will also take used reading books, coloring books and puzzles as well as toys to distribute to children on our own projects and to the child residents of our local community partners.
If you think you can help, or would like to request further information about donating or volunteering, please do not hesitate to contact us.
 Seminars in child and adolescent psychiatry (second edition) Ed. Simon G. Gowers. Royal College of Psychiatrists (2005)
 National Statistical Coordination Board http://www.nscb.gov.ph