In December 2011, designer Junichi Nakane went on a trip to Mali. While in the village of Tireli located in the central plateau region, he realized the people who lived there didn't have access to clean water. When he returned to his home in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, he decided to do something creative to help the people. In collaboration with his friend Saki Yahagi Oki, he created the Kumanokoido line of teddy bears that wear beautiful intricate patterns. The toys both symbolize friendship and raise money for the town.
The name Kumanokoido is a blend of two Japanese words: Kumanoko, meaning cub and Ido, meaning water well. Nakane managed to get a crew of five people, one of which was his mother, and set out to raise $15,000 to construct a well for the people of Tireli.
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