Lost Toy installation bring world’s displaced children into Aussie kids’ Christmas whirlwind

A dilapidated soccer ball, a well-worn teddy and a toy truck fashioned from a bottle and thongs forms part of a World Vision Australia pop up art installation in Melbourne highlighting the plight of the world’s 30 million displaced children.

The Lost Toy Store, which is on display at Melbourne Central until December 23, is an installation created by Melbourne artist Emma Davies and tells the story of toys left behind by children who fled their homes. 

It follows the journeys of three toys recovered from World Vision’s emergency responses: a homemade car from the camps of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh; a blue teddy belonging to a Syrian refugee and a punctured soccer ball from the city of Kananga, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

Toys donated by Australian parents and children will also form part of the exhibit, to create a thought-provoking contrast with the lost toys recovered from around the globe.

“Even in the most desperate circumstances toys provide children with comfort and security,” said World Vision CEO Claire Rogers.

“Every year, hundreds of thousands of children around the world are displaced – by conflict, political upheaval, famine, flood or other natural disasters,” Ms Rogers said. 

“And when they flee – or their homes are destroyed – their most treasured possessions are often lost or left behind, including their favourite toys and teddies. 

“It is very upsetting for children to lose their closest toy ‘friends’. However, this Christmas, many children in countries experiencing upheaval or living in refugee camps risk losing much more than toys. 

“They’re at risk of losing their safety, security, and their right to an education. They risk becoming child brides, losing their childhoods, and at worst, they risk losing their lives. 

Ms Rogers said she hoped people will take time out from their Christmas shopping this year to visit The Lost Toy Store and reflect on what Christmas really means and how we can help and pass this message of generosity on to our children and families. 

The worldwide refugee crisis continues to escalate, with more than 68 million refugees and displaced people. Half of all refugees are children.

Families are encouraged to visit The Lost Toy Store until 23 December to discover the stories behind the lost toys and write a message of hope to children who have lost everything. 

Messages will be displayed as part of the exhibit, then sent to children affected by conflict and disaster in World Vision-supported communities.
 
Details: The Lost Toy Store will be located under the clock at Melbourne Central until December 23. 

worldvision.com.au/lost-toy-store

Visitors are encouraged to share photos with the installation on social media with the hashtag #LostToyStore

Available for interview: 
Artist Emma Davies
World Vision CEO Claire Rogers

For more information please contact Julia Ferracane: julia@saintcopy.com
0424 180 420


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