History of Toybox
Twenty years ago a couple, Duncan and Jenni Dyason from Amersham, UK, saw a documentary about street children in Guatemala being shot dead by the police.
Moved by what they saw, they decided to act, and as a result The Toybox Charity was born. Since then, Toybox has been changing the lives for the thousands of street children and now works in six cities across five countries; Guatemala, El Salvador, Bolivia, Peru, and Nicaragua.
The name came from a dream that Duncan had of a box overflowing with toys, to symbolise a sense of giving these street children back their childhood, hence the name "Toybox".
Today Toybox is supporting more than 12,000 children across these countries. This timeline illustrates all the wonderful achievements that have been made over the last 20 years.
Annual turnover £1.83 million, helping 90+ local projects in six cities, supporting 12,000 children each year. Research begins into working in Honduras.
Llamarama take over selling of crafts. Initial work begins in Managua, Nicaragua.
Refuge in Cochabamba opens. New Red Alert Network launches in San Salvador, El Salvador and Guatemala. The Guatemalan Child Ambassadors win the national Rose for Peace Award. Toybox now helps over 5,500 children each year with 50+ local projects.
Toybox outgrows the Amersham office and moves to new offices in Bletchley, Milton Keynes.
First Good Treatment campaign against violence towards children is launched in Bolivia and work begins in two more cities: Oruro, Bolivia and Lima, Peru.
Toybox begins working with a new partner, VIVA Latin America. Together, we launch a new Red Alert network in Cochabamba, Bolivia, along with the Toybox child ambassador scheme.
Refuge in Guatemala opens providing temporary care for children.
Second and third boys’ homes, Jireh, and Maranatha open.
Two girls’ homes and El Castillo school for street children opens.
Prevention team begins work and the Toybox child sponsorship scheme is launched. Miracle Children by Duncan Dyason is Published which later goes on to win Christian Book of the Year. Hurricane Mitch hits Central America – 11,000 dead, millions homeless.
Toybox Crafts mail order service begins.
Emmanuel home for boys opens, followed by Malquias home for girls.
The Tower children’s day centre is opened. Tragically, two street boys aged 10 and 13, Daniel and Ruben who attended the centre, are murdered by private security guards as they prepare to sleep on the streets.
Toybox supports a new Guatemalan partner- El Castillo.
The Toybox Charity starts work in Guatemala and sends out its first newsletter to 75 supporters. The charity is registered in the UK in the summer.
Childrens’ workers at St Leonards’s Church, Chesham Bois, Duncan and Jenni Dyason watch BBC Everyman documentary “They shoot children, don’t they?” and sense a call to go to work with the street children of Guatemala, where civil war had raged since 1960.