Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

Dubai website helps parents donate used toys to those in need

Website aims to teach children habit of donating, reusing and recycling

Sherif Dahan, the founder and chief executive of Toyit, said he wants to encourage parents to buy and sell second hand clothes and toys. Antonie Robertson / The National
Sherif Dahan, the founder and chief executive of Toyit, said he wants to encourage parents to buy and sell second hand clothes and toys. Antonie Robertson / The National

The father of a young girl in Dubai has launched a website for parents to sell, exchange and donate unused and unwanted toys and clothes.

Sherif Dahan, the founder and chief executive of Toyit, said he thought of setting up the non-profit business after Chloe, his daughter, was born in 2014.

His aim is to help cut the cost of raising a child in the UAE by encouraging parents to buy and sell second hand clothes and toys.

Whether it is books, toys or clothes, everything has to be changed every month or two, especially during the early stages.

Sherif Dahan

“I started as a parent to live the experience of how many items you have to buy for your child, and how many get outgrown really fast,” said the 45-year-old Egyptian.

“Whether it is books, toys or clothes, everything has to be changed every month or two, especially during the early stages."

Parents in the UAE were expected to spend $1.1 billion on children’s toys, games, and video games this year, according to Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry figures.

Mr Dahan said his initiative will help children realise how much of the plastic that ends up in landfill comes from toys.

By reusing and recycling, parents can help cut the amount of plastic in circulation, he said.

"There are hundreds of families who can make use of the items piled up at our houses. Why not make it easier for parents to let go of those things?” he said.

“Whether they want to give it away at zero price to another family, or donate to charities who support children, or resell it, they can do that through the platform.”

The website has partnered with the Emirates Red Crescent, Hope Factory, and Toys With Wings to give parents an easy way to donate toys.

Mr Dahan said parents should teach their children about giving away toys to others who can enjoy them.

“When I list something on the website to give away, I make sure my daughter is a part of it,” he said.

“I help her understand that old toys can benefit other children who may not have access to new ones.”

Mr Dahan said several parents he spoke to liked his idea.

“Not a single parent told me ‘No, that would not work’. They can all relate to it because I think we touched on a problem that people had,” he said.

Muhammad Kamran, father of a two-year-old boy, used the website to get a book for his son.

“I got it from someone who wanted to give it away, as probably their children were not using it anymore,” said the finance manager from Pakistan.

“I am using the book for my son to enhance his learning skills by identification of colours.

“He is connecting the animals mentioned in the book to the cartoons he watches, and has even learnt the names and sounds.”

Mr Kamran said he will donate the book once his child outgrows it.

Updated: October 11, 2020 01:48 PM

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