And, THIS, is why we make toys.

Battat donates a portion of sales to WE.org, a charity that brought over 1,000 schools to communities around the world. The WE model is brilliant, yet simple: focus on sustainable development; and by doing that, impact the lives of generations to come. Through these donations, Battat has now adopted 8 villages in 5 countries (Kenya, Haiti, Ecuador, China, and India) We’ve been there from A to Z, building classrooms, bathrooms with proper toilets, and wells for clean drinking water. And just like any proud parent, we are thrilled to present to you those 8 communities. Your toy purchases help fund these villages, so you can feel like proud aunts and uncles too.

In 2014, this community of around 1800 people all came together, with the help of WE and Battat to change their future for the better. Today, Battat can proudly say that it built, furnished and supplied 8 new classrooms in the existing school. The school was also connected with a proper water management system; the villagers were provided with treatments and health infrastructures, with the opportunity of an alternative income with the very popular Rafikis, and, with a proper agriculture plan.

In January 2013, school was in session for the first time in this remote community. And for once, the kids were in a learning-friendly environment, as the computer lab that doubles as a library, the cafeteria and 5 brand-new classrooms replaced the dilapidated mud constructions that served as school, or directly outside, with only a few acacia trees as cover. Now, the school has a proper water management system, that experts from surrounding communities help maintain. Today, the Oleleshwa School is the center of all the community daily activities, including specialized workshops for the villagers on food security and agriculture.

March 2014 marked the beginning of brand-new possibilities for this Chinese village. A brand-new elementary school was built, allowing 90 students to attend school in a proper learning environment. The government and community provided the books and the playground was also given a complete make-over with trees, flowers and a play area. The water system was also completed in 2014 providing students and community members access to clean drinking water, which also supports community health. The school continues to develop strategies to implement a school lunch program which will greatly impact the academic success of students.

In May 2015, the whole community of Dao Lazui came together, and with the help of Battat and WE, began building their new school. Currently, it has 5 classrooms, 1 library and a total of 108 students! The school is currently able to support students from age 6 to 12 with a total of 4 teachers, two of which are from a nearby community. As education continues to grow within the community, we are eager to see school attendance grow. Soon, other programs such as sanitation, water, health care and the possibility of an income will be implemented.

In March 2015 began the construction of the first WE school in Los Rios. The first classroom was completed and ready to go by the end of the year. The school currently has 175 students and 13 teachers, as schools are relatively rare in the region. So, this is why you can find students commuting from 6 communities along the Rio Napo. Students are engaged in their community and excited to attend class. There’s even a cooking class for students to learn how to make quimbolito, a traditional Ecuadorian treat. Combining cultural and academic learning into the classrooms have provided students with the opportunity to retain close roots to their cultural heritage while pursuing academic achievements. 2016 saw a new water system being built and a newly formed group of women being formed amongst the communities.

EDUCATION

In 2015, many lives definitely changed for the better in a tight-knitted, yet very poor, community high up in the Haitian mountains. The tiny village of Manac, with the help of WE and Battat, saw its school attendance increased from 120 to 700 with the construction of 2 school blocks and 4 extra classrooms! Today, the community can rely on a well for clean water, a mobile medical clinic, and many other positive changes.

Kalthana’s two primary schools had poorly equipped rooms, no handwashing stations with running water, and inadequate septic systems and latrines. Today, with help from WE and Battat, schoolrooms have been improved, a new water system installed, and more are under construction. Kalthana’s residents now benefit from regular health and hygiene workshops, and new smokeless chulha (stoves) addressed problems of smoke inhalation from food preparation. Additional nurses and workers also visit the rehabilitated anganwadi (health center). Thanks to a successful agriculture and food security program, participating farmers report complete food security. Women involved in the program have opened new bank accounts after earning over $1000USD from the sale of surplus goats! Plans include outfitting a computer lab with solar power, ongoing agriculture projects, and health and water programming.

Kalinjar’s 837 community members engage in subsistence farming and live on less than 2 dollars per day. Families face challenges of food insecurity, a shortage of qualified medical staff, and an inadequately stocked anganwadi (health center). The local school’s old rooms are in poor condition, and newer rooms are dark and poorly-ventilated. Classrooms lack desks, benches and other furniture. All of these factors severely limit student learning potential. The school has only 1 functioning latrine, and there is no water within the school grounds. After building trust in the community, WE plans to begin infrastructure work in Kalinjar with Battat’s help. After the construction of a new school building, the government will appoint additional teachers. The hope is that students will complete grade 12, which is uncommon in rural schools.