Children love to play with balloons, but as parents we fear that they will burst, scare your little ones or even act as a choking hazard.
No need to fret anymore as the original Goldfish Gifts Balloon Ball is the perfect solution to all of your balloon fears!
Forget about those breakables indoors because Balloon Balls have a soft handmade covers that the balloon is simply inserted into.
The balloon ball allows your children to bounce, kick, throw and safely play with balloons without the fear of hazards that come with balls.
The cover is an easy to fold cover so you can take the balloon ball with you wherever you go!
If your balloon breaks, don’t worry because you can simply replace it and you are ready to play again.
Did you know that Goldfish Gifts won an award in 2010 for their Balloon Ball – it was awarded the best novelty of the year by ITSA (Independent Toy Specialists of Australia)!
Available in pink pastel for the girls, bright unisex patchwork and dark colours.
Why not give one a try – available for sale in our online store for a bargain price of $11.95!
Ampotsehy Pre School – An island on its own
Goldfish have been working on a project close to our hearts – raising funds through our products and personal endeavors to develop a school in beautiful Madagascar and are pleased to say that the preschool project is underway!
The community has already begun collecting rock for construction (1.5 loads and counting). Their meeting concerning the responsibilities of the community in construction proved rather interesting. The most important decision reached was in establishing a “dina”, or “penalty”, of several thousand Ariary for those community members who refuse to participate in the construction. However grudgingly, this should help to ensure that the community remains involved.
SACOM, the local employer and land owner, has started the process of legally handing over title of the school grounds to the village. This, it appears, will be the only contribution they will be able to make.
The village of Ampotsehy is at the whims of sugar cane and especially SACOM. Unfortunately for the community, the industry has been wracked in recent years by politics, markets, and inconsistent management (not all local, to be sure).
What is left at present is a shell of the former employer that once existed.
We should not forget that the 80+ children which will be learning there in the coming year are, of course, the focus of this effort. They and their parents will benefit every single day from this new school. Perhaps for some the road to an education is no longer kilometers, but meters long.
Perhaps for others, the concerns of safety that kept them at home will be lifted by the school construction.
Madagascar is the oldest and fourth largest island in the world. It is an island of tropical forests, extreme desserts, and unique geographical features. A remarkable 80 percent of the flora and fauna of Madagascar is endemic, meaning it is not found anywhere else on earth. While much attention is focused on protecting Madagascar’s natural ecosystems, little attention is paid to the people who inhabit the large red island. Like the landscape they live on and the wildlife they live with, the people of Madagascar are both diverse and distinctive. Ethnically, Malagasy people are a mix of African, Asian, and Polynesian decent. The 18 tribes in Madagascar reflect these diverse ethnic backgrounds both in appearance and in language; each tribe has a distinct dialect of the Malagasy language.
Madagascar has also been both a British and French colony, and the language reflects these colonial roots with many words adapted from both English and French.
Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. According to the World Bank the majority of the population lives on less than US$1.50 per day and ¾ of the population lives below the poverty line. Lack of water, sanitation and hygiene is a serious health risk with only 15 percent of the urban population having access to sanitation facilities and a mere 22 percent of the rural population having access to any improved water sources. To add to this, failing school conditions due to lack of infrastructure and frequent cyclones, coupled with high rates of illiteracy, prevent many people from achieving a higher quality of life. With almost half of the population under the age of 15, access to better education and health care must be a priority in order for the Malagasy people to improve their living conditions and increase opportunities.
Ankarana – The Southern Ankarana tsingy.
The Ankarana region is located in Northwest Madagascar, 150 km south of the northern city of Antsiranana/Diego Suarez. The region is best known for the Ankarana Special Reserve, a protected area famous for its scenic limestone formations known as tsingy. The word “Ankarana” refers to these pinnacle limestone formations that are locally called harana.
Beneath the tsingy, or harana, are caves which are a sacred burial site for Antakarana royalty.
The Antsaravibe commune in the Southern Ankarana is a rural area with a population of approximately 15,000 people. It is a diverse commune both culturally and geographically. The Ankarana tsingy extend into the commune from the Reserve to the north, mangrove swamps and fishing communities lie to the west, and the Mahavavy River cuts through the commune as one of the major water ways.
The traditional dialect of Malagasy spoken in the Ankarana Region is Sakalava. However, the Ankarana region has become a hotspot of immigration, attracting many people from other tribes in Madagascar, especially from the Southwest. Immigration is partly due to SACOM, a sugar plantation that operated in the 1990s in the town of Ampotsehy.
However, SACOM shut down in 2003, leaving many people jobless. Ecotourism increased in the Antsaravibe area around 2005 as adventurous tourists passed through on their way to the remote western entrance of Ankarana. Unfortunately, despite two functioning lodges that are now in the commune, the local community has seen little benefit from the increase in tourism. The majority of people in the Southern Ankarana are subsistence farmers with little education or income. Many people sell cash crops or commodities in the nearby city of Ambilobe but income from this is minimal at best. As a result many children remain uneducated and many families are unable to buy basic necessities.
Exploring the Ankarana tsingy – Fady, Religion, and the Ancestors
The Malagasy culture is governed by a set of fady, or cultural taboos, known to each region. As a vahaza (foreigner), these fady can seem puzzling and often unfounded, but to the Malagasy fady are not something to be questioned. Most fady are rooted in respect for the ancestors who are central to Malagasy culture. Although Malagasy are Protestant, Catholic, and Muslim, all are linked by the razana, i.e. the ancestors. In the Ankarana region people consider the tsingy and its caves to be sacred given that it is the burial place of certain ancestors. Therefore a strict system fady is connected with the caves and tsingy.
Education in the Anstaravibe commune is incredibly underfunded. Schools lack learning materials and overcrowding of classes is a problem in all schools. Many schools face crumbling structures due to cyclones or other acts of nature but lack the funds to fix school buildings. When it rains, many classrooms get rained on. In addition to problems of Ampotsehy Pre School infrastructure, 20 percent of students may be absent due to illness or work on any given day.
Many children do not make it past primary school for various reasons, leaving the vast majority of the commune undereducated. Fortunately many people still value education and would like to see their children through school when possible. FRAMs, the parent-teacher associations of the region, often put their own money and time into fixing up schools. School fees run between US$ 10-20 per year.
If you would like to donate contact us for more information!
Finally after all these months without our favourite walker..Bajo is back!
I just love the design and shape of this baby walker..its almost aesthetically perfect, and what’s more it’s so suited to young children just walking or walking kids that just like to push things around.
This particular walker has extra big wheels with special attention to the front of the walker.
Many walkers look good but are designed without thinking about the home they will be pushed around in.
The design of the Bajo was carefully thought out by putting the wheels slightly ahead of the body of the walker so that when children run into the walls, furniture or our legs, a soft rubber rim is the only part of the walker that is making impact! GENIUS!
Welcome back Bajo!
Children love to dress up no matter what age they are, playing dress up is a sign of your child’s development it also allows then to develop their sense of imagination.
Dressing up shapes your child, it allows then to be a superhero, a princess, an indian or a doctor and with these small games it helps your child develop strong decision making and social skills for the future.
Dressing up isn’t just for the young, but also for the young at heart and a night of dress up created the concept for beautifully custom hand made indian head gear for children.
Elisa Doro the designer and owner of Goldfish Toy Shop and Goldfish Gifts purchased a traditional Indian head dress that she wore to a friends wedding. People were in awe of the stunning and beautifully hand crafted item so that promoted her to create a line of Steiner inspired imaginative play toys for children including these beautiful child size head dresses.
Made from leather, faux fur, recycled rooster and chook feathers and finished with bright and bold colours these head pieces can transform any child into an indian chief or even Pocohontas for the day.
“My niece wore one of the large head pieces in whilst we were walking through Berry the other day, and we had strangers pulling up in cars asking where these could be purchased, as well as stating how fantastic they looked”.
Once a wise American Indian said:
“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”
Allow your children to get the most from their world and from their earth.
Suitable for children aged between 4 – 12 years and exclusive only to Goldfish!
Buy online now!
The other day I was discussing life, love and other things with a friend of mine, as we looked at the milky way through the tree tops. in my garden.
The greatness of the universe and our place in it is both a mystery and a wonder.
And then we meet the love of our life…2 individuals in this expansive universe……
This poem by Rabindranath Tagore pretty much says it alll….. enjoy!<1—more—>
I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it’s age-old pain,
It’s ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.
You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.
Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.
The difference your donations have made so…
Some things are improving at the orphanage and we are so happy about that. They are very deserving people and, and we are pleased to assist when it is so appreciated and well-used. Here are the projects that have been completed in the last two months:
Beds, or lack of them was a problem at the Ambohimahazo orphanage in Madagascar. The children, often up to 6 of them would share one dirty mattress..
So exciting..a new gorgeous website full of happy products…a new look with lots of new products.