Simple Hand-Sewn Dolls and Stuffed Toys Needed for Nigeria

Photo courtesy of CDS
A pattern for simple hand-made dolls and stuffed toys for use in Nigeria by Children’s Disaster Services.

By Kathleen Fry-Miller

Later this spring representatives of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) will be traveling to Nigeria to work on trauma healing with children, working with women theologians of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

The two CDS representatives are Kathy Fry-Miller, associate director, and John Kinsel, CDS trainer. We also will work directly with women and children who have been affected by the violence of Boko Haram. As part of the curriculum being developed for this work, we will be taking art and play materials to Nigeria to distribute to those who will be conducting trauma healing training workshops.

CDS invites anyone who likes to sew to help make 100 hand-sewn soft dolls and stuffed animals (new only, not used) to use as examples of the kinds of comfort items that could be made locally in the future.

Shown with this article is a simple pattern that can be used to make the requested toys. The shape just fits onto an 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper. Dolls should be dark-skinned with bright dresses. Stuffed animals should have a simple face or no face.

Contact Kristen Hoffman, CDS program assistant, at if you would like to make one or several of these toys. Items must be shipped in time to arrive by April 1 at the Brethren Service Center, Attn: Children’s Disaster Services, 601 Main St., P.O. Box 188, New Windsor, MD 21776.

— Kathleen Fry-Miller is associate director of Children’s Disaster Services. Find out more about the ministry of CDS at .


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