Clowns without Borders – this month´s Wishmakers!
March 31, 2015  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

Imagine a job where the requirements are a huge smile, good vibes and love for children. No, we aren´t talking about a storybook, a play or a circus. We are speaking of Clowns without Borders, a non-profit organization whose mission is to offer laughter to relieve the suffering of all people, especially children, who live in areas including refugee camps, conflict zones and emergency situations. The professional artists who work with Clowns without Borders are probably the bravest clowns in the entire planet. At The Toy Blog we´ve had the chance to interview one of them. Keep reading to discover how laughter can become the best weapon against adversity and learn why Clown without Borders are this months´ Wishmakers.

Make-A-Wish, our Wishmakers of the month!
February 20, 2015  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

Make-A-Wish® with a presence in nearly 50 countries worldwide, grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life threatening illnesses,  enrichening their lives thru personal experiences full of hope, strength and happiness. These wishes contribute to the child and the family´s resilience, enabling them to face physical and emotional suffering.  It´s affiliate in Spain has the support of 200 medical professionals, 30 hospitals, 1000 private sector professionals and almost 400 companies who actively collaborate with them. Together, they take wishes very seriously. In fact, Make-A-Wish Spain is accredited by Fundación Lealtad, an independent organism that evaluates accountability, financial health and transparency. This month, The Toy Blog had the chance to interview Carmela Fernandez Piera, a Patron of  Make-A-Wish Spain. Keep reading to discover the incredible work thy do and the impact that generating wishes has on children.

Fluff, this month’s Wishmakers
January 27, 2015  |  Written by M. Rodrigo Brao

Alberto Romero and Marta Rueda, our Wishmakers this month, are two young entrepreneurs from Madrid who founded the company named Fluff. He is a designer and she is a child psychologist and together they have joined forces with a common goal: to help children manage their emotions by playing. Although their initial idea was to open a toy store, Fluff took another route. In 2010, they created four amusing stuffed animals or toys that have become the brand image of their company: Colchón (Mattress), Edredón (Comforter), Culito Rana (Frog) and Gamberro (Troublemaker). Each stuffed toy, along with a practical guide, helps parents teach their kids to overcome their fears, temper tantrums or insecurities.

Candela y Los Supremos: Our Christmas Wishmakers
December 23, 2014  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

For the vast majority of parents today, scheduling work, school, homework, extra-curricular classes and a social life, requires a lot of juggling. And despite it all, it seems they don´t have any time left to do what is considered one of the most important things: spend quality family time together. Far from being part of this statistic, a young and adventurous family in Madrid, Spain decided to create a pop band three years ago. What began as a way to spend time together has become a social phenomenon with tours and concerts in Teatro Price, Primavera Sound and Benicassim, among others. A hilarious cartoon series based on their story has even been created. We are talking about Candela, a talented 10 year-old and her parents Judith and Edu. All three are the sole members of Candela y Los Supremos (Candela & The Supremes, in English) and our Wishmakers of the month. Keep reading to learn how it all began, how they organize themselves and take the time to search for common interests that allow them to have fun and get everyone to be an active participant.

Illustrator Mónica Carretero, our Wishmaker of the month!
November 26, 2014  |  Written by M. Rodrigo Brao

Our Wishmaker of the month, Mónica Carretero, is a writer and illustrator of books for children. She spent part of her career working as a graphic designer and later opened a coffee shop called ‘Zarzamora’, but drawing, was always her ultimate passion and goal. When she turned 29, she decided to dedicate herself to illustration and she found what was to become her true path. She currently writes for Cuaderno de Viaje and has already published several children books such as ‘Clucky the Hen’, ‘Roly Polies’ and her collection of illustrated Handbooks…’. Now, this award-winning author and illustrator says, “it´s not easy but you should never give up.” At Famosa we´ve had the honour to commission her to create a story book for Juegorama 2014, which you will soon be able to download from the website and our blog.  Monica gives hope and joy through her drawings and invites children to imagine many more. Like she told us in her interview: “Children turn a story into many more.”

Our Wishmaker this month: Seydu, founder of Diamond Child School of Arts & Culture
October 20, 2014  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

Our Wishmaker of the month is perhaps Europe´s best percussionist. He is also a composer, singer and luthier.  Seydu was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and grew up listening to melodies sung by his mother, Fatmata Salimatu Jalloh, and he assimilated the rhythm his grandfather, Ebenizer Calender, created with his drums. It was his grandfather who taught Seydu how to make his own instruments by using recycled materials and together they would travel and play representing their country. It was music that helped save Seydu from war and hunger and taught him how to survive being a stowaway on board a merchant ship and a vagrant in the subway in Madrid, being a teenager. Years later, Seydu, went on tour with Stevie Wonder, collaborated with famous artists such as Serrat, Youssou N ´Dour, Alejandro Sanz and Kiko Veneno, has published 3 records and founded what he considers his greatest achievement to date: Diamond Child School of Arts and Culture, an NGO dedicated to giving children the necessary skills and education for a brighter future. Children, who today live, threatened by Ebola. 

Not without my Grandparents
September 9, 2014  |  Written by M. Rodrigo Brao

Grandparents are an essential part of our lives. They are wise and an example of patience. They are the ones who are in charge of giving their grandchildren the sense of belonging, roots and history. We know who we are and where we come from thanks to them since they make our culture and traditions live on.  Grandparents are the link between generations and according to the famous anthropologist, Margaret Mead, they are necessary for our mental health and emotional stability. This month, we have dedicated our section of Wishmakers to them, to our grandparents who make our childhood that much better.

Aúrea Ferreres, from Save the Children: Our Wishmaker of the Month
August 19, 2014  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

Aúrea Ferreres is the person responsible for political incidence, sensitization and campaigns at Save the Children, an independent organization that works in more than 120 countries worldwide saving lives, providing security and protection to children and defending their rights as part of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This month, we dedicate our Wishmakers section to her and this organization that is at the forefront of children´s rights in the world.

Charo Izquierdo from World Vision: our Wishmaker of the month!
June 9, 2014  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

World Vision works to build a better world for the children who live in it. Thanks to their efforts I joining forces with international organization such as the Red Cross and working for the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations as well as being founding members of the Global Movement for Children, World Vision puts all its efforts into three large areas that directly affect the wellbeing of children everywhere on the planet. Fight against hunger, saving lives during emergencies and promoting justice. These are the three pillars that World Vision works for everyday. Charo Izquierdo is the person responsible for all the programs and projects in South Africa and South America and is our wishmaker of the month.

The Best Wishmakers in the world: Our Mothers!
May 11, 2014  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

If there is something that unites off human beings is that we have a mother. Our mothers or our mother figures are the core of family life, our guides and support. From the moment they carry us inside their womb until we are born, their important role continues throughout their life, assuming a great responsibility.

They are there when we fall, when we take our first steps, when we cry, when we laugh. They are there to feed us, educate us and transmit important values. They applaud us, they support us and love us unconditionally. For all of these reasons and more, we wanted to dedicate this month, in our Wishmakers section, to them, to all the mothers of the world who, undoubtedly have the hardest job of all.