The creator of the multicultural soft toy doll range, One Dear World, has launched a new crowdfunding campaign to grow the current collection to include six new inclusive disability dolls.
Frustrated by the lack of diversity among the dolls available, Winnie Mak who originates from Hong Kong and is now living in London, alongside her half-French, half-Greek husband Rafael Tselikas struck upon launching the One Dear World brand in 2017. The range features four dolls of different ethnicities and genders.
Having picked up various awards for the successful range, the couple is now keen to expand its range with six more dolls representing both visible and non-visible disabilities.
Mak said: “It’s always been my long term vision to create dolls to include all kinds of diversity. But I decided to start with cultural diversity, as I was just one person with an idea, sat at my dining room table with limited funds and resources.
“We believe all children should have dolls that represent them, as well as dolls that look different from them so that they can grow up with a vision of being friends with anyone, regardless of race, gender or disability.”
The new collection of dolls includes a young girl with a prosthetic limb, a boy with autism, a boy with Down Syndrome, dolls with visual and hearing impairment, and a child experiencing anxiety to help teach children about mental health and wellbeing.
Mak added: “Unicef estimates that 150 million children worldwide are growing up with disabilities. We believe these children are entitled to positive representation so that they can develop a secure self-image.
“Following the launch of my dolls I was approached by so many parents asking me if I would consider creating more inclusive dolls with different disabilities. With my nephew being diagnosed with autism, it naturally felt like the right direction to expand our range of dolls in.
“We’re so excited to be launching this new crowdfunding campaign and believe our new dolls can help all children see the beauty in themselves and in others.”
Each doll comes with an accompanying booklet which gives their name, place of birth and a short story about themselves, including a famous role model who experiences the same disability, and facts and further information on their disability. Winnie’s aim is that the dolls will not only appeal to children as a toy but can be used by parents or educators to start conversations about inclusivity and diversity.
Partnering with Work for Good, the pair will contribute ten per cent of the sales to charities including my AFK, Downright Excellent, Sightsavers, The National Deaf Children’s Society, Mencap and Young Minds.
Should the crowdfunding campaign exceed the planned target for the development of the new dolls, Mak intends to also invest in a story about all the dolls and an accompanying card game to play with the individual dolls at different stretch goals.
The new dolls will be launched on September 16, and will retail from between £24 and £30 pounds. Individuals can donate towards the crowdfunding campaign and pre-purchase a doll at www.onedearworld.com/dollsforall until 16t h October.