Syrian refugees: Coquitlam, B.C. woman revamps Bratz dolls for the kids

Selina Prevost is making over dolls and teddy bears as welcome gifts for the Syrian refugee children expected to arrive in B.C. later this year.

Selina Prevost is making over dolls and teddy bears as welcome gifts

Selina Prevost has transformed Bratz dolls into welcome gifts for Syrian refugee children. (Selina Prevost/CBC)

A Coquitlam, B.C. woman is making over dolls to turn them into toys for Syrian refugee children.

Selina Prevost is stripping down Bratz dolls and giving teddy bears new clothes as a welcome gift for Syrian kids arriving in B.C. later this year.

"I have children myself. Seeing the images in the news ... my heart [goes] out to the children and the mothers having to go through this," said Prevost.

Prevost, a mother herself, says the stories of Syrian refugees started off as any other news story but the debates around their admission into Canada and eventual arrival in her hometown "touched" her in a different way.

"They're actually coming here, where I live. I can see them, I can meet them, I can help."

The mother was inspired by a similar looking Malala Yousoufzai doll created by Vancouver artist Wendy Tsao.

After speaking with a local immigration services group, she realized the dolls were one way she could help.

Each teddy bear wears a Canadian flag on its lapel and the message, "Welcome to Canada," written in English and Arabic. (Selina Prevost)

Donations welcomed

Each of the dolls wears a tag on its wrist that says "Welcome to Canada" in English on one side, and Arabic on the other.

"I wanted to make the dolls seem familiar to them ... something they could relate to but also ties them to Canada."

She's already made 13 Bratz dolls and sewn four teddy bears new outfits which include a Canadian flag on their lapel.

Prevost aims to make at least 100 of each toy but is willing to do more if she can gather enough Bratz and bears.

Donations can be dropped off at Cape Horn Elementary School at 155 Finnigan St. or at the offices of Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart on 3000 Guildford Way.

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