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Durban's Santa transforms broken toys into shiny gems

12 December 2018 5:29 AM
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Durban's Santa transforms broken toys into shiny gems

A Durban man is transforming old and broken toys into good-as-new treats so that every child experiences some joy over the festive season.

Shiven Gopi, 31, recently shared an appeal on social media for donations of old toys to "Shiven's workshop". But he did not anticipate that he would receive such an overwhelming response.

His "workshop" is actually just his dining room table, but it is packed to capacity and now looks like a toy store, he says as he laughs.

Luckily, his wife shares his enthusiasm and has suggested eco-friendly ways to package the toys once they are fixed.

Gopi, who has been in the electronics industry for more than a decade, believes most things can be repaired.

"Electronics has always been a passion of mine... besides fixing TVs, I decided I want to give back to the community," he explains.

"It is expensive to buy brand new toys and donate them. So I asked the community to come together and give me any toys that are repairable - a remote control car that doesn't work or even a teddy bear that is missing an eye."

As an electronic quality engineer, he works hard during the day and often comes home late. This means that he only gets time to fix toys at night and over weekends.

Once he reached a personal deadline of the second week of December, he donned a Santa suit and "spread some Christmas joy".

Gopi identified several children's homes, largely in rural homes, as recipients.

But the project won't come to an end in the new year. He will keep fixing and donating toys that are sent to him in 2019.

"There are some kids who don't even know what a toy is. This is to show that at the end of the day, a simple act can go a long way."

- If you would like to donate a repairable toy, you can send a WhatsApp or text message (no calls please) to Shiven on 082 580 9552.


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