In the heart of Kenya, where beautiful landscapes and abundant animal life are an integral part of the cultural heritage, children, supported by AVSI in the Distance Support program, are exploring a world of creativity and learning through a seemingly simple, yet impactful medium: using Amici Cucciolotti animal stickers donated by the Italian company Pizzardi Editore.
Opening an Amici Cucciolotti sachet is like opening the door to a better world! The album is dedicated to the beauty of nature, which manifests itself through the living beings that inhabit it, showing their marvelous shapes and colors. The player, card after card, is involved in an exciting journey to discover the most beautiful and special animals and the most surprising curiosities of the natural world that surrounds us. The Amici Cucciolotti animal sticker collection is also an opportunity to carry out important initiatives in favor of animals, the environment, and children.
The donation of thousands of albums and millions of stickers received in May 2023 has been helpful in engaging over 2,800 Kenyan children and their families in a creative and social-enhancing game. They had the opportunity to support each other in solving the puzzles that are present in the albums using animal sticker cards.
To compound this, the presence of more than 15 Italian youth volunteers during this period has promoted the knowledge-sharing initiative. The Italian volunteers, who have been attached to different AVSI partners, in 11 different counties of Kenya, and within the AVSI Distance Support program, play a key role in supporting the educators and children to play the game effectively. The interaction paves the way for a unique cultural exchange program that fosters collaboration, sharing of ideas, and learning of new skills.
The sticker game: a sharing moment with the family with the TV turned off
In the African context, elders shared stories of traditional beliefs and practices related to animals, passing down their wisdom to the younger generation. This is no longer a norm because of the surge of new technologies and other life priorities. The children no longer have the opportunity to share an evening fireplace with their parents and grandparents for cultural stories.
The introduction of the knowing and loving the animals of the world program through animal stickers by Amici Cucciolotti is useful in promoting a better social environment among children and their elders. It creates a shared interest that goes beyond age and background, fostering a deeper sense of unity and understanding among the children, their teachers, and caregivers. At home, with their albums, the children’s attention on the television is taken away by the availability of animal sticker games that present a real-time puzzle. With the support of their parents and teachers, they become more efficient and knowledgeable of the animal world.
The animal stickers donation will go along with art therapy to support the children’s progress. The kids are very excited and would like to play together with the stickers more often. Through this, we can be able to access the intellectual level of the child as well as promote their happiness and knowledge.Mary, Educator from Shelter Childrens Home.
Learning through play
Play is a fundamental aspect of childhood, enabling children to explore the world, understand relationships, and develop various skills. As they arrange and re-arrange the stickers, they engage in creative storytelling, creating their own narratives about the animals and their habitats. The children supported in the Distance Support Program collaborate, share ideas, and learn from one another, strengthening their social bonds and developing essential communication skills. The joy and enthusiasm that emanates from their interactions spread from school to their homes thus positively impacting the entire community.
Furthermore, discussions about animals and their conservation that stem from playing with the stickers stimulate cognitive development. The children's curiosity leads them to ask questions, seek answers, and retain knowledge. They begin to grasp concepts such as habitat protection, endangered species, and the significance of animals in their culture and history.
And the empty packets? A contribution to AVSI Kenya paper recycling project
Every time, after the children have stuck the animal stickers in the albums, we try to be careful that they don't throw away the paper, but we collect it to make it flow into the Paper Recycling Project: “Save Trees Recycle Paper” with which we obtain sanitary pads for teenage girls from the largest Tissue and Hygiene products manufacturer in Kenya Chandaria in exchange for the paper to be recycled.
As the children's knowledge and passion for animals grow, they could become advocates for change within their community. They are the next leads for cleanliness drives, creators of awareness campaigns, and promoters of sustainable practices to protect the precious habitats of their animal friends.