Kids’ market … for kids

William, left, 10, and his brother Andrew Kivedo, six, are getting ready for the Toys and Books Market for kids by kids on Saturday

Now that the children are back at school, ask them to clear out their bookshelves and toy boxes and take part in a novel entrepreneur’s day with a charity twist next weekend.

Port Elizabeth couple Dr Aadil and Yasmeen Ahmed are organising the Toys and Books Market – for kids by kids – on Saturday at the Tramways Building in Baakens Valley.

The idea is that children will sell their used toys and books at stalls, and “pay” for their stall by donating at least one toy or book to charity.

“We are hoping there will be up to 300 children selling but we don’t really know the numbers yet as a lot will come on the day,” Aadil said, noting that the day was aimed at primary school pupils.

“Books are essential: that’s how they get the most knowledge. My kids love to read and we must encourage reading,” Aadil said.

It was partly because the Ahmed family, with four children, has “lots of books” that the market idea germinated.

“We first thought it would only be toys but we’ve got lots of books and a book is one thing that can be read and then sold or passed on. This is a way to share them relatively cheaply.”

By selling their used toys, books or sports equipment, the children had the opportunity to “make some money, get a taste of business and test their entrepreneurial skills”, he said.

It is also aims to provide an opportunity for other children to get books and toys at a cheaper price, and this “recycling” keeps them within the community, with less wastage and more personal interaction.

The market will be open from 9am to 2pm, with food stalls selling a variety of treats to cater for both parents and children.

The charity Al Fidaa, which recently opened a baking school, will be selling cakes and there will be coffee on sale as well.

The market will be an Ahmed family effort: “My dad is involved in drug rehabilitation and he has arranged puppet shows to educate the kids about the dangers of drugs and drug abuse,” Aadil said, adding the shows were often presented at Bay primary schools.

The oldest three Ahmed children, who are eight, 12 and 14, also will be taking part: “One son will have a stall and the older two will help us out,” Aadil said.

Children aged five to 15 are invited to take a stall, with the older children expected to set up and run their mini-shop without adult assistance.

All parents are encouraged to attend, but children younger than 10 must be accompanied by an adult. There is no entry fee for sellers or buyers.

The Ahmeds say the items collected will be distributed in conjunction with local charitable organisations which have identified schools and orphanages in need.

They hope, if the first market is successful, that it will “become an annual event on PE’s calendar”.

Further information from Yasmeen, 072-908-6456.

that the children are back at school, ask them to clear out their bookshelves and toy boxes and take part in a novel entrepreneur’s day with a charity twist next weekend.

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