Supporting Refugees with a Toy Library

One of the many social problems faced by refugees, when parents cannot work and children cannot go to school, is boredom.

To help curb this problem for a number of Iraqi refugees who have been in this situation in Amman for a year, STEPS initiated a basic (mini) version of a concept known in some countries as ‘ludotheque’, or toy library.
A collection of 34 games and toys was purchased with funds from various donors. Thanks to the help of Martina from Italy and Mirjam from Austria the games were catalogued, Arabic instructions were provided for all game rules and strategies, and a sign-out book was set up.

Thus was born STEPS’ لعبتي (Lu’bati) initiative for Hashmi Shamali, where little ones can borrow building blocks and puzzles, and older ones have access to chess, Scrabble, Monopoly and more.

A noteworthy addition came when Amit from India generously donated a large ‘Carrom’ board, a strike-and-pocket table game, commonly used in his country. In order to introduce the game to the refugees, Amit spent a fun afternoon with them to show them how it is played. We were amazed to see how fast they learned to play and score!