HEART STORY

Teddy bears in Columbia

A UK charity called Teddies for Tragedy contacted the Costa Foundation in 2009. Their mission is to help bring smiles all over the world by sending hand-knitted teddy bears to disadvantaged children.

A knitting club in St Albans learnt of the work the Costa Foundation was carrying out in Colombia and were aware of how war-torn and devastated by terrorism this country was, particularly in rural areas. They asked if it would be possible to send 400 hand knitted teddy bears to both Anatolí and La Esperanza schools, a request that was actioned in January 2010.

It was delightful to see so many children smiling and laughing as the Costa Foundation trustees handed out the bears. Many of the children had never had a toy before. There was some concern that perhaps the boys would not want them, but they were as excited to receive them as the girls were.

There was an interesting moment when many of the children were querying what exactly was tied around each teddy bear’s neck and when it was explained that they were scarves, none of the children understood what a scarf was or why they were needed. It was a good opportunity to teach the children about the difference in climate between Colombia and the UK.

Small gestures like this make a big difference to the lives of disadvantaged children around the world.