Got a minute to lend your ear? I have got a story to tell you. I was recently given the opportunity to host a Hearts for Hearts Girls Party. My objective was to review this product, invite several girls to this party to discuss the Hearts for Hearts Girls doll line, talk about the charity World Vision, and share in some great party fun together.
I commenced to planning the party. I was sent two dolls, some bracelets, pretend passports, and a list with suggested party games and finger food ideas to host the party with. But as I put the party plans together, it soon became apparent that boys were interested in this party too.
I spoke to several girls about coming to a doll party, including my neighbors and my own daughter. They were thrilled! Several families I spoke with had both daughters and sons. The boys were a little jealous that the girls were going to have a party and boys were not invited. All the children agreed they would like to participate and requested that boys be included as well as girls. So we expanded the party into a learning workshop. I sent out invitations by email to all our friends and both girls and boys accepted.
Then I got really busy gathering up additional materials such as art supplies (permanent markers, stickers, construction paper, scissors, crayons, glue, hot glue, pipe cleaners, recyclable), a globe of the world, two Green Science Clean Water science kits, extra sand, charcoal, pea gravel, filters, containers, 6 brightly colored 1 gallon buckets, 1 five gallon bucket, 4 gallons of drinking water, four different coloring pages printed back to back, and lots of supplies, plates, cups, rice, lentils, rolling pin, crock pot, electric skillet, etc. I secured the shelter at the local park to host the party/workshop.
This party/workshop turned out to be AWESOME! It lasted four hours and included a meal too. I am so glad we did this. Check out what these awesome kids did to learn about Hearts for Hearts, World Vision, and Clean Water.
Hearts For Hearts & World Vision Charity Organization
World Vision is a charity organization that does a huge outreach in developing countries around the world. They have many programs like sponsoring a child, micro loans for start up business, building houses and schools, food, medical care, and more. World Vision also has a program called the Clean Water Project, and puts wells in villages so safe clean water is accessible to everyone.
World Vision has partnered with Hearts for Hearts Girls dolls by Playmate Toys, to reach our youth of today and help them see they can make a positive difference in people’s lives. Hearts for Hearts dolls are beautiful life like dolls fashioned after real girls from various countries around the world. The dolls are dressed in authentic clothing and accessories from their culture.
You can read about the dolls and the real girls stories and diaries on the website http://www.hearts4heartsgirls.com/the-h4h-girls
Currently, there are 8 different dolls available:
Nahji from India and her language is Hindi
Zelia from Brazil and her language is Portuguese
Dell from the USA and her language is English
Lilian from Belarus and her language is Belarusian
Tipi from Laos and her language is Lao
Consuelo from Mexico and her language is Spanish
Rahel from Ethiopia and her language is Amharic
Lauryce from New Orleans and her language is Creole.
Each doll also comes with a story book explaining the life of the real little girl the doll was inspired by. Each of these real life girls are doing something amazing to help their community overcome the lack of basic needs like clean water, sanitation, housing, education, poverty, and more, and their inspiring story is in the book. Each time a doll is purchased, proceeds are sent to World Vision to further the humanitarian projects in the country the doll featured.
There is a lot of great information for kids on the website. There are some interactive computer games too http://www.hearts4heartsgirls.com/games-and-activities/ .
These dolls are a great inspiration for kids and adults. They are adorable to play with. They are a beautiful collectors item too. They would make a wonderful gift to a special child in your life, a classroom, and a sunday school room too. These would be so nice to have in quiet play areas in offices too, such as a realtor office or dentist office. It would be awesome to teach cultural awareness classes with these dolls. I would love to have the whole set as they are very special dolls with a wonderful message of courage and love for the needs of others.
The Need For Clean Water
Did you know that less than 1% of the entire world’s water water is available for drinking and accessible to people? 1%. Think about that for a minute. The other 99% of water is filled with salt, or is frozen, or is deep underground. Does this amaze you? It amazed me as I researched this topic.
Wow, less than 1% of the earth’s water is accessible surface water in the form of lakes, rivers, and streams. All other water is either too salty to use in the ocean, frozen in glaciers, or stored in underground aquifers. Though the USA and many developed countries have access to clean water (because of an abundance of natural and man-made lakes, rivers and streams, and technology to purify polluted water, desalinate salt water and access underground water), the majority of people on the earth do not have easy access.
Many people on earth have to struggle to access clean safe water. Many go to extreme measures to acquire water. Some folks walk several hours a day to a location that may have water that is disease carrying, and get a bucket of water and walk back home for several more hours and repeat this every day. The water may be so dirty, that they are often sick with parasites, virus, bacteria, and many die from these conditions.
If only 1% of the water is available to use, how do people get enough water to drink, bathe, cook, clean, water their animals, water their crops,
and other things we need water for?
Every day at least 3,000 children die from diarrhea as a direct consequence of a lack of safe water source. What? You thought children die from a horrific accident, or some invisible mosquito carrying disease? Well, some do die from these, but the biggest killer of children is a lack of safe drinking water.
As a Christian, this weights heavy on my heart. Jesus felt it was so important to offer a cup of water in “his name” and refers to this in the scriptures. Yet, thousands of children and adults are dying because there is no access to a cup of clean water.
Hearts For Hearts Party & Clean Water Workshop
This whole issue of “Clean Water” became the mission of our party / workshop. We had 16 kids (nine girls, and seven boys), 6 moms, and 2 babies attend. This was such a great group of kids / families all together. This was my favorite party / learning workshop I have hosted all year. I love talking about cultures, geography, and science.
One of the dolls I was sent was Naji from India. She is absolutely beautiful in representing her ethnic and cultural background. We chose to focuss our workshop around this doll and on the need for clean water in rural villages in India.
First of all, the kids listened to me describe the need for clean, safe, potable water in the world. Then we compared how they access and use water at home on a daily basis, and how kids in developing countries such as India use water.
We talked about how they get their water each day in the USA. We started off by having the kids identify all the ways they acquire and use water each day:
shower / bathe
They also identified other groups in the USA who need water for specific tasks:
farmers to water crops and water livestock
producers who make products that use water during the manufacturing process
farmers to wash produce before selling it to the public or to the stores
water power plants
doctors and hospitals need water to clean their instruments and prevent
the spread of disease
cars need water to cool the engine, etc.
Then we talked about how a child in a village in India may have to wake up and walk several miles to fetch a bucket of dirty water to bring back and use for drinking, preparing food, washing dishes, washing clothes, bathing, etc. She may have to make several trips to get enough water for the day. It may take her several hours and she might not be able to go to school because she is too busy fetching water for her family’s needs so they can survive. The water could make her or her family sick with diarrhea and parasites. But they must have water, so she continues on despite the risk.
Make It Relevant:
Learning is living it! Exploring life with hands on experiences my kids and I can relate too. I teach in a very hands on way. I wanted to convey to the kids some aspects of what life is like with difficult to access water resources. I wanted to make it relevant for them and enrich their learning experience.
We divided the kids into three teams. Each team was given a bucket and a small dipping cup. They had to walk a long ways (per the kids) from the picnic shelter to the public bathrooms to get to a location where water was accessible. This activity represented a child in a village in India walking several miles to fetch water from a local watering hole or stream.
Then they needed a way to collect the water. There water was available from a small sink. Their buckets would not fit under the faucet. They had to use their small cup to fill their buckets with water from the bathroom sink. It took a long time to gather enough water to fill their buckets.
Then carry the full bucket all the way back to the shelter. The water was very special and they were given instructions to be very careful not to spill it. This activity represented a child in an Indian village carrying the water several miles back home to their house in their village for their family to use.
One team was able to make it back with a full bucket, without spilling a drop, and the other two teams spilt just a little along the way. But over all, all three teams returned with their bucket of water intact.
Next, the teams made their bucket of water into a yucky mess with sticks, coffee grounds, dirt, trash, rocks, and hair. This represented the polluted water that many children must use in developing countries as they have no other resource than the filthy water in the local lake or water hole that animals and people all use.
We examined a clean water filtration experiment from a Green Science Clean Water kit and learned the various parts of a basic filtering system. See the picture above: gravel, sand, charcoal, and a filtering membrane (this is a coffee filter, but you could use layers of cloth, cotton, or other materials).
Then the three teams built their own filtering systems to try to clean the polluted water to make it usable again. Each team was given a pop bottle cut in half, a screen, rubber band, a filter, charcoal, sand, and gravel to create their own water filtration systems.
They carefully scooped up their polluted water from their supply buckets, carried the polluted water to the table, and slowly poured it into their team’s filtering system. They were amazed at how each layer of the filter removed debrie and contaminants.
This science experiment helped the kids understand how to remove pollution from contaminated water. The water would still need to be sanitized before using for human consumption. If people in developing countries had access to materials to build adequate filtering and sanitizing systems, they can turn bad water into useful water for human needs.
Count The Cost:
Do dig a basic well for a few families, costs about $5000 -$12,000 depending on where in the world it is drilled.
To dig a deeper 900ft well for a village with a storage tank can cost as much as $30,000 or more.
If you would like to know more about how a well is constructed, please see the description on wikipedia about water wells.
Costs to build a water treatment facility can vary widely depending on the extent of the processing systems built and the number of people it will serve. I researched small facilities with costs of about $3 million dollars, to average size $30 million dollars, to larger facilities costing $300 million dollars and more.
The kids were given coloring pages that included geography, technology, engineering, and science to further their learning. I love to further the STEM Initiative with kids(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). These were great coloring pages with an educational message!
One page explained how water is drawn from a lake, filtered, transported, cleaned and sanitized, stored, and then accessible to homes through various piping and sewer systems. This page comes from a mini book with Thirstin, a small character that teaches kids about water.
Another page explained how underground water is available in a water aquifer, and can be accessed through a well then piped into a home. This page is also from the Thirstin mini book.
The next coloring page was a world map with places to label seven continents, by Crayola. http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/print/world-map-coloring-page/
And the final coloring page was a map of India, made by Homeschool Creations.
Giving Banks Craft:
Next the kids decorated giving banks. The purpose of the giving bank is to help save up their loose change to send to World Vision Clean Water Projects. Parents were sent a link in an email to know where to send their donations.
Each child used a container with a screw type lid (such as a peanut butter jar, ovalteen jar, grated parmesan cheese jar, etc.) This was a good way to recycle these containers. The kids will be able to reach their hand in to count their savings with the screw type lid and large opening. Counting their savings is a great way to practice math and life skills and help them keep track of their giving goals.
Kids could decorate their banks however they wanted. We had various art supplies available on the tables. Some drew scenes and messages on construction paper, then glued it to the jars.
Others drew right onto their jars. Many used various different stickers to create their masterpiece. Some used special scissors to cut shapes of paper.
Some used a hot glue gun to attach different items such as bottle caps, toilet paper tubes, and jewels, to their jars and make their creations stand out.
This was a very creative and open time for the kids to express themselves.
We ended up with banks that looked amazing. Some were decorated to look like water in lakes and rivers.
Some were animals such as pigs, birds, and dinosaurs. Some of the creations were very personal for the kids. One looked like a river and a person was collecting gold from the water. One looked like a well for a village. One was a sign with a message about giving to help others.
When the kids were done decorating their banks, I gave each one 25 pennies to get started saving money in their giving bank. They had fun counting the coins and hearing them drop into their banks.
Fellowship & Meal….and a Cooking Lesson!
After designing our giving banks, we ate a meal together. I invited all of the moms to bring something to share for our meal. We had a great selection to fill our plates and stomachs with including sandwiches, vegetables, fruits, chips, dips, and more.
Keeping with a focus on India, I brought dahl, rice, and chapattis to share, and another mom brought raita. This would make a complete meal in India. I learned to make these dishes while living in college among students from India. My best friend was from New Deli, India. We met at an International Christian Fellowship meeting through a missionary, and we spent five years together doing everything and sharing our lives, and her way of life became a huge influence on me.
I will post more about the recipes for these dishes, and about my life living among Indian and other international students in future stories. I will come back and link up the recipes here in case you would like to make these dishes too. Basically dahl is a mixture of red lentils, sauted onions, spices, and water cooked together. The rice is a mixture of 1/2 Jasmine rice, and 1/2 Basmatti rice, water, sea salt, and ghee (clarified butter). The raita is a mixture of plain yogurt, cucumber, herbs, and sea salt. The chapattis (bread from India) are a mixture of flour, water, milk, sea salt, oil and cooked on a hot skillet.
I brought the dough for the chapattis and taught the kids how to make them. They loved this! The kids pinched off a walnut sized piece of dough, roll it into a ball with their hands, then roll it out into a thin circle with a rolling pin. They learned to turn the dough each time they rolled the pin over it so it would keep a nice circle shape.
Then they placed their chapatti onto a very hot electric skillet being careful not to get burned
. It took about two or three minutes, and then they flipped the chapatti like a pancake over to the other side. The chapatti was done when it got small brown spots on both sides. It tastes like a tortilla and is kind of a cross between a tortilla and pitta bread. It is delicious and a lot of fun to make!
The kids also played on the playground, and enjoyed each other’s fellowship playing games and talking together.
More Party Fun:
Each of the children received a pretend passport.
The first page includes a place to draw a picture of themselves, and write down some personal information and what country they are from.
Inside the passport are colorful pages with the eight different dolls listed, their names, country, language, and how to say hello in their language. Then there is a place to put a stamp or sticker on each page after the children learn to say hello in that language.
Each kid who attended the party / workshop received a Hearts for Hearts Girls bracelet to remind them of the fun we had together today, but more importantly to remind them of other kids in the world who need clean water and other basic needs and that together we can help make a difference.
We also held a raffle drawing for a door prize. The winner could have their choice of prizes. The kids had so much fun picking out their prize.
All of the kids wished they could have won a clean water science kit and a doll. I wish I had one of each prize to give to each kid who came today, but that wasn’t possible on my budget.
All of the kids went home with a coupon their families can use to buy a Hearts for Hearts Girls doll at a discount. These dolls are wonderful to play with and enjoy. They are very well made, posable, and have authentic clothing and accessories. Everyone will love playing with them. These coupons are a great way to buy them for a birthday or holiday gift, or just for fun, at a discount.
Hearts for Hearts Girls dolls are available at Toys R Us, Amazon.com, and the Hearts for Hearts Girls website. Keep your eyes open as they will soon be in more stores too. Proceeds from sales of Hearts for Hearts Girls dolls goes back to World Vision to support various projects to help people with basic needs to better life for all of mankind. This is a great charitable cause to support and teach your children about.
Please read the World Vision website if you would like to offer support or learn more about the Clean Water Projects. You can connect with Hearts for Hearts Girls on Facebook and on the Hearts for Hearts website.
Disclaimer: Special thanks to Hearts for Hearts Girls and Mommy Parties for giving me this review party opportunity. I received the Hearts for Hearts Girls dolls and bracelets mentioned in this story in exchange for hosting this party and writing an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and also of those who attended the workshop.