Dolls help kids cope with illness

Marlene Rozentals and her daughter Natasha Yorke with some of the dolls they have made.
Marlene Rozentals and her daughter Natasha Yorke with some of the dolls they have made.

The Uthando Doll Project was designed to help children in South Africa suffering from AIDS and to help with their suffering by using homemade dolls.

Uthando Project volunteers have sent more than 45,000 handmade, culture suitable dolls to the children of KwaZulu Nata in South Africa over the last 10 years.

Marlene Rozentals and her daughter Natasha Yorke are both involved with the project, Ms York saying the dolls were something the children could relate to.

�The child gets a doll and the grandmother gets a doll and they talk about loss and grief through play with the doll,� she said.

�In a way it is a therapy to help with grief and loss from HIV/Aids.�

Ms Rozentals has made about 100 dolls and said she mainly made hers out of cotton.

There will be a fundraising exhibition called the Gift of Play at Kidogo Arthouse in Fremantle from July 14-19.

Each day will feature a hands-on two hour sewing or knitting workshop, with some quicker fun activities

Guests will be able to sponsor a chosen doll for $10 to go to an African child affected by HIV/AIDS. For more, email georgia1@iinet.net.au or call 9293 2363.