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January 2024 update from Toybox CEO, Lynne Morris

Updates • Jan 2024

Celebrating 10,000 lives positively changed

I wanted to start this update by sharing the wonderful story of nine-year-old Anaya from Bolivia – the 10,000th birth registration your support of Toybox has made possible. Little did I know before we embarked on our first birth registration project in Guatemala City back in 2013 that this small piece of paper – a simple birth certificate – could be quite so transformative in the lives of the children we work alongside.

Meet Anaya

Born on the streets of Bolivia, Anaya’s mother abandoned her when she was only one month old. Anaya and her maternal grandmother sold sweets on the streets and recycled containers to make a living. Before she was registered, Anaya faced an impossible challenge to get an education, “I couldn’t be enrolled in school like the other children. I could only go to school and listen, but I couldn’t pass to the next grade and they did not give me the school breakfast.” Once our local partner Alalay, identified that Anaya needed support, it took almost three years to obtain the necessary documentation for registration. Their tireless efforts paid off though and in late 2023, Anaya became the 10,000th child to receive their birth registration as a result of your support.

Anaya shared, “I didn’t understand why I didn’t have my birth certificate and it was difficult for many years without my identity documents. Now I am happy because I can be enrolled in school! I want to study to be a lawyer, because I want to help all children to have identity documents like me.”

This significant milestone is one that we know has only been possible through the loyalty and kindness of our wonderful supporters like you. Thank you for your belief in the transformative power of birth registration and for standing alongside Toybox and our partners during this journey. You are helping to ensure that street children everywhere get the start in life they deserve.

You are opening doors

Your deep-rooted compassion for the millions of street children still waiting for their birth certificates is felt deeply by me and the wider team at Toybox HQ in the lead-up to Christmas. Opening your beautiful and heartfelt messages of support was such a gift and I am truly thankful for all that you do. I was particularly struck by a message of hope we received for a child who was about to get registered, which said, “Life as you would want it begins TODAY! Everything is possible. Be happy and loved by those around you.” As a supporter of Toybox, you are opening doors for the most marginalised. You help children to realise their human rights and make sure they are legally protected. At the time of publishing this update, our birth registration Christmas Appeal had raised £240,818. Thank you for bringing safety, dignity and opportunity to street children right across the world. I am so thankful for all your support.

We have just published our latest Annual Report for the year ending June 2023. The past 12 months have been extremely challenging for children and young people in street situations, but with your support we have been able to:

  • Send more money to our international partners, thus helping more children and young people.

  • Support 10,353 children and young people in street situations (twice the number of people who attended Wimbledon over the championships in 2023).

  • Give 119 young people support to start new businesses.Support 2,233 children to attend school – that is 74 classrooms with 30 children in each!

  • Register 2,042 children and provide them with their birth certificates. We hit a great milestone with over 10,000 children now registered since we started our birth registration programming in 2013.

Thank you so much for continung to give finacially, pray and send notes of encouragement for the team - we could not do this without you!

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