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Summer 2023 update from Toybox CEO, Lynne Morris

• Aug 2023

Extending extraordinary kindness during times of turbulence

It’s not often that I am lost for words, but this summer I was left deeply humbled by the outpouring of kindness shown in response to our recent cost of living appeal. You truly understand the immense pressure that street children across the world are facing right now. Your support at this time represents a belief in the power of collective action – and for this I am so grateful. To date the appeal has raised £60,484. With your generosity, we can support street children like 17-year-old Mabling (pictured above), who has been affected by the rising cost of living in Nairobi, Kenya.

For the past 10 years, Mabling has lived hand-to-mouth on the streets, scavenging scrap to sell. Yet in recent months, it has become increasingly challenging for him to earn enough for even the most basic essentials. Mabling told our partner, PKL, “Right now there are so many people who are collecting plastics and metals, not just street boys. In the past you could go around for two - three hours and have enough. Now I wake up at around 4.30am to go and collect. You can work until midday and still not have enough. There are also many fights over territory – people get beaten up badly if they are seen in other people’s areas. Things are way harder. You can no longer go to the dumpsite to scavenge because the managers at the site are only allowing specific people there. Now we mostly depend on going around the community to collect scrap and there’s not usually much. These days it’s very hard to find scrap metals - plastics and cartons are more common. They are bought at a lower price, so we are making less money.”

With your help, we can support initiatives like the urban farm project which is protecting children and young people like Mabling from some of the extreme challenges associated with the rising cost of living, such as hunger and malnutrition. Through the project, children are growing healthy and nutritious food, and have a safe place to spend their time, away from the dangers of the street. Mabling explains, “My eyes were opened after coming to the project, that’s when I realised the life I was living was not the best and I needed to do something meaningful with my life. Now I feel hopeful. I enjoy going to the farm – it feels good to work there. People are calm and there is less conflict.”

Thank you so much for supporting children like Mabling as they try to navigate the daily stresses and strains of life on the streets.

You can read more of Mabling's story here

Bringing hope to the children of La Terminal

You may remember earlier this year that we introduced you to a new project based in La Terminal, a huge market in Guatemala City. The project, run by Toybox local partner Puerta de Esperanza has been providing a safe space for children to learn and experience some of the joys of childhood, away from the threats and dangers associated with the market. Following a successful pilot, I am pleased to share that through your ongoing support, the work with Puerta de Esperanza has recently been extended. The project already has some exciting plans for the coming months and will continue to focus on supporting working children and teenagers with their education. Alongside this, parents and caregivers will be supported with parenting skills, to help strengthen family relations and reduce the likelihood of children leaving home for the streets. Families will also be given support and guidance to help them navigate the systems and processes required to obtain their ID documents and access healthcare. Thank you for bringing hope and opportunities to the children of La Terminal.

You can find out more about Toybox's work in Guatemala here.

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