The Boingy Project was initiated in December of 2016 in Cartagena, Colombia by Nicolás Salazar Awad, inspired by his own personal experience at the age of three with Boingy, his stuffed bunny, who helped him overcome his fear of the dark. Through the use of stuffed animals, the initiative aims to provide emotional support to underprivileged children and youth experiencing challenging situations.
We organize visits and activities to health centers and foster homes to accomplish two objectives. First, we distribute stuffed animals to the children at each institution. And then, Nicolás shares his experience with his own stuffed animal with the intent of inspiring them to find courage in times of hardship. We mainly work with pediatric patients undergoing medical treatment for critical conditions, such as cancer, heart and kidney problems, as well as children that have been victims of abuse or have been abandoned and live in foster and adoption homes. Since its conception, the project has distributed over 2,000 stuffed animals across Colombia and Brazil.
As part of the initiative, one of our partners, La Casa del Niño hospital, conducted a study to determine the effects of the stuffed animals on the children and youth who received them. They discovered that each child’s stuffed animal represents something they can always rely on, in both good and difficult times, and contributes positively to their treatment.
During the early phase of the initiative, we distributed stuffed bears manufactured in China, and, as local production was established in Colombia, we were able to manufacture stuffed animals inspired in Boingy, Nicolás’ original bunny. As a result, a critical component of the project, local employment generation, has been achieved. The stuffed animals are now produced by underprivileged mothers, giving them a chance to learn new skills and to generate a source of income. In Brazil, we are currently in conversations with an NGO that works with incarcerated women to become our local source of stuffed animals.
Under the leadership of Nicolás and the help of his colleagues at Graded School, Sabrina Scheinberg
With your support, the Boingy Project aims to reach many more children.
1. To inspire and provide emotional support for children and youth going through difficult situations, such as cancer, dialysis treatment, victims of physical and sexual abuse, and orphaned children and youth by shifting the focus of their lives from the situations they’re in.
2. To encourage other students to join the Boingy Project and help people in need.
To provide job opportunities for low-income stay at home mothers, which would help the overall living situation of the family and specifically an improvement in children’s lives.