Dolls
Photo Credit: Supplied

The Pair Bear Project was established to help young victims of assault get justice; the project is two-fold and also creates jobs for seamstresses and tailors in South Africa.

 

Mpumalanga, South Africa (13 April 2021) – Stories of good deeds, kindness and people doing more for those in need are what help create balance in a world that is plagued with unimaginable evils. It is those stories that keep us going when the world feels a little too dark.

This story may be triggering for sensitive readers. We were sent information about the incredible organisation called ‘The Pair Bear Project’, a project put in place to bring justice for abused children. The organisation combats one of societies greatest evils, sexual abuse of children, by giving them tools to share their stories and get the justice they deserve.

The Pair Bear project is a registered Non-Profit Company (NPC 2020/577260/08) and Non-Profit Organisation (250 -102 NPO). The Pair Bear Project focuses on community engagement projects and skills development initiatives in the sewing and tailoring sector of South Africa. They aim to help people from local communities build small businesses and help the community whilst doing so. The NPO pursues small projects with multiple benefits, such as the Show and Tell dolls, to help the youth in communities.

“Many sexual assault victims are too young to comprehend what has happened to them and cannot describe the event using words and language that adults understand,” says Christi Jackson, Director of The Pair Bear Project.

Sadly, children frequently get sexually assaulted by grooming methods (when a child is sexually abused from a young age and grows up thinking that this is normal behaviour).

“Our dolls help young survivors explain what has happened to them in a non-threatening way. Child witnesses often testify using age-appropriate terms for sexual conduct. With anatomically correct dolls, it enables a witness to demonstrate what sexual and physical abuse they witnessed,” she adds.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month aims to raise awareness about sexual violence worldwide and educate communities on preventing it. Sexual assault is an umbrella term and includes rape, unwanted sexual contact of any other form and sexual harassment.

“Our dolls have been created to be anatomically correct, making identification of genital organs easy for younger survivors,” explains Jackson.

“It is sad that we need such a product; however, unfortunately it is an essential one,” says Jackson. “This product could help child psychologists, Play Therapists, rape and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) NPOs, and social workers communicate more effectively with young survivors of sexual assault,” she adds.

“After being commissioned to make the dolls, we realised no such product exists in South Africa. We are hoping that we can fill this gap with a product that can truly help the young victims,” says Jackson. “Should we receive funding for our project, we can donate these dolls to NPO’s that deal with GBV, as well as rape, and social care workers in poorer communities,” she adds.

The dolls are hand-crafted and produced by local seamstresses. They come fully clothed with panties/underpants, bras, decorative clothing and shoes, and their faces are hand-painted. Every doll is unique and can be purchased with extra clothing and in families. The family consists of a boy and girl, mom and dad, and granny and grandpa.

Although Pair Bear Project is still in its start-up phase, they employ local seamstresses and tailors throughout South Africa.

For more information, to apply to become a seamstress/tailor or for any donations that you would like to make,  you can contact Christi directly at hello@pairbearproject.co.za | (081) 413 1295 or visit the website www.pairbearproject.co.za.

Founder Christi Jackson and the Anatomically Correct ‘Show and Tell’ dolls

References:
1. https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/rape-statistics-by-country
2. L Vetten et al, Tracking justice: the attrition of rape cases through the criminal justice system in Gauteng, Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, South African Medical Research Council and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, 2008.

Sources: Pair Bear Project – Press Release
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Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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