from tuesday 26 december 2012 to sunday 06 january 2013
For the 7th year, the musée du quai Branly has renewed its commitment to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Aviation sans Frontières (Aviation without Borders), to allow children who live in refugee camps to have another Christmas.
It is a chance for young visitors to chat and share with the children of the world, while thinking about their own vision of Christmas.
a big toy-collecting effort at the museum
Each child brings one of their toys to give to a child who lives in a refugee camp, and adds a little note for the child who will receive it.
The children are greeted by a mediator, who helps them as they part from their toy, and explains to them the meaning of this gesture: this is not an act of charity, but an exchange. That is why the children donating one of their toys take part in a workshop, during which they are given the means to have something of equivalent value (educational, not material) to that of the game or toy they have donated.
The workshop The other toy
In exchange for their gift, the children (aged 6 upwards) take part in a toy-making workshop using salvaged materials, so that they can complete this experience by exploring their own skills, understanding the play situation of many children in the world (one of the most common games in the world is making your own toys) and enjoying the fun, creative and intellectual aspects involved in the production of an object.
Each child goes home with the toy they have made.
- From Wednesday 26 December 2012 to Sunday 06 January 2013
- from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm
- for families with children aged 6 upwards
- free entrance but limited places
Since October 2006, more than 9500 children have taken part in the Other toy.
which toys should we give?
Construction games, soft toys, dolls, balls... are all welcome.
- the following are not advised: toys referring to war (weapons, soldiers, military vehicles). Indeed, for many refugee children, these objects would not be seen as toys.
- refugees live in unstable material conditions (hence the need to send toys); so it is better to avoid electronic toys or those which use batteries
- toys are not always sent to French-speaking countries: toys which require the ability to read (board games, quizzes etc.) cannot be used.
distributing the toys
Through the non-governmental organisations established in the host countries and working with the UNHCR, the toys are distributed in the refugee camps every year after Christmas.
In view of the current international situation and the difficult situation in Syria, children are invited to make a gift to Syrian children living as refugees in Turkey.
to come: the project blog
To hear about how this great collection of toys destined for the world’s refugee children works, find out how to take part, discover how the world’s children play and make a game yourself, see the blog L’autre jouet (The other toy) at the beginning of December.
the project’s partners
the united nations high commissioner for refugees
The UNHCR has a mandate to direct and coordinate international action aimed at protecting refugees and solving the problems of refugees all over the world. The organisation’s main aim is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. The HCR tries to ensure that any person may exercise the right to seek asylum and to find safe refuge in another State, with the option of returning home of their own free will, integrating into the place where they are or resettling in a third country. The HCR also has a mandate to help stateless people.
Aviation Sans Frontières
ASF has been leading humanitarian missions to the most destitute in developing countries for more than 30 years. It brings indispensable support to the numerous NGOs which regularly call upon it. Thanks to its generosity, the skills of its volunteers and its aeronautical logistics, the ASF association constitutes a link between those who give and those who suffer.
the project within the cultural policy of the museum
This project forms part of the coherent drive towards sustainable development implemented by the musée du quai Branly: it proposes questioning the values associated with the way Christmas is celebrated in our consumer society and taking a fresh look at what we regard as rubbish. We should also remember that refugee children are, first and foremost, children, who certainly need food, clothing and housing, but also need to play, to develop and to grow.
This is part of a process of cultural exchange between children (and not a strictly humanitarian effort). So that the principle of sharing is respected (I’ll show you how I play by sending you one of my toys; in return, I’ll learn one of your games), the toy brought to the museum must have belonged to a child and should not be brand new. But refugee children are of course children like any other children: they like toys in good condition.