We are delighted to share a blog written by students Gianna Park and Jane Woo from Seoul Foreign British School, who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2019-20 Global Goals Competition.
Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community.
What was one of the best memories you ever had with your favorite toy during your childhood? Was it a cute miniature doll, a lively train set, or even a fluffy stuffed animal that you could wrap your arms around?
Children in unfortunate situations like orphans and hospital patients cannot have these bright, everlasting memories due to the lack of personal toys in their environment. In orphanages, every child has to share: often using dull toys that cannot stimulate their senses. Those who do not have access to sensory stimulation at a young age are more likely to suffer from lower IQs, brain damage and do worse in school. Sensory toys can also help with learning disabilities, such as autism, ADHD and emotional trauma. Furthermore, children in hospitals with access to these toys are shown to heal faster along with bonding with nurses who need to perform painful procedures.
To solve this problem, we are making sensory toys in the form of frogs. However, one problem we faced was waste. While researching, we found that Ontario alone generates 500,000 tonnes of textile waste every year and that it is predicted this number will increase. Also, 85% of used textiles ended up in landfills. We wanted to be as sustainable as possible with our project so we decided to recycle scrap textile and plastic as a solution. To do this, we decided to collaborate with the Waste Warriors, who aim to reduce waste at our school, to collect plastic waste and the drama department for scrap fabrics that cannot be reused.
These frogs will be made of different fabrics from recycled rugs, clothes, blankets and pillowcases that are clean and we will fill them with recycled plastic and stuffing. To personalize each frog, we will decorate each one differently such as with different eyes, bows and more. The unique fabrics and stuffing feel and sound different that can help stimulate and develop the brain. We asked for help from other students to help us make prototypes, and we taught them basic stitches and how to recycle wastes into simple toys. These prototypes were successfully trialed with year 2 students.
The Next Chapter
We hope to give our frogs to toddlers at the “Open Arms” orphanage and a local pediatric cancer ward. At “Open Arms”, we want to give every orphan a frog with their name embroidered to help them feel like the toy is their own.
To find out more about how our trial with year 2 went, please follow our blog for further updates on how we are engaging younger students with a mindset of sustainability.
The 2019-20 GSL Global Goals Competition is now open and runs until June 2020. If you belong to one of the 700+ teams of students currently delivering a social action project as part of the competition we would love to hear from you and feature your blog and project photos on our website to inspire others.