Buyiswa Balani visited one of our Emthonjeni sites with her Persona Doll. The children were fascinated by the doll and story, and through creative storytelling, Buyiswa was able to start important conversations with the children.
First developed as an anti-bias approach in the United States in the 1970s, Persona Doll Training was introduced in South Africa by Carol Smith, Founding Director of PDT (SA) in 2004. The approach builds on universal and African traditions of storytelling, taken a step further – into discussion and dialogue, with a strong focus on hearing children’s voices. Dolls help children to express their feelings and ideas, think critically, challenge unfair treatment and develop empathy with people who are different to themselves. The approach helps to develop life skills, self-esteem, respect for diversity, problem-solving, language, conflict resolution, and emotional literacy.