University atelier producing organic toys for children with leukemia
The atelier in the eastern province of Bitlis was recently established within the context of a project named “One Love, One Knot Project” launched by Bitlis Eren University (BEÜ).
The toys are made of organic yarn as children with leukemia are warned against plastic toys due to the cancerous risk of some of the plastic types.
The atelier’s first students are six academics, two housewives, one nurse and 17 students. Officials plan to gift the toys produced by atelier participants to children with leukemia getting treatment in nearby hospitals’ oncology departments.
BEÜ Rector Prof. Dr. Erdal Necip Yardım, who conducted the opening ceremony of the atelier, said that the university has a “duty of loyalty” to the public and expressed his gratitude that the students of the university were also supporting the project.
“This is an atelier that has been opened in Turkey for the first time that aims to produce organic toys for children with leukemia. I believe that this project will create a very good awareness. There are many people from all over the country that contact our project coordinator Esra Dursun regarding this project. They want it to be widespread [across Turkey],” Yardım was quoted on saying by state-run Anadolu Agency on April 8 as he was visiting the atelier and analyzing the newly produced toys.
“This is a very important and successful project. I hope that new and more beautiful projects continue to be produced for children with leukemia and children with other diseases,” he also said.
Dursun, who is also an academic at BEÜ, said that children with leukemia had partial access to many toys as they were mostly made of plastic.
“We launched our project in an attempt to produce toys for these children as they stay for a very long time in hospitals [for their treatment]. We are knitting the toys with our own hands using completely organic threads,” she said.
Dursun also said that the project will continue for two months, adding: “We plan to make this project everlasting in summer and extend it countrywide.”
Many of today’s toys are made of plastic. Some plastics contain toxins that can have harmful and long-term impacts on the human body.
Children are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of these toxins because they often engage in “hand-to-mouth” activities while playing.