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Jun 12, 2015 12:42 PM ET

Archived: Skin 4 Nino – So he can be newborn safe and ICU approved

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 12, 2015


Skin 4 Nino

Nino was conceived in Europe, born in Africa and soon, he’ll be ready to travel the world! Designed to bring joy and comfort to young children and strengthen families, the little green dinosaur with a really big heart already has friends and fans in many countries. He is a global citizen and his circle of love is growing steadily. 

Since he first popped up in Cape Town at the Design Indaba 2014 (where he won a World Design Capital Award!), Nino has been doing what he does best – playing, making friends and helping people.  The response to the charming little dinosaur is overwhelmingly positive – everybody loves Nino! 

Nino’s first year out and about in the world has been wonderful.   With his special brand of loving, we have noticed that children of all ages like to play with Nino! He has a remarkable ability to connect and cut through common barriers like language, culture, age and status.  Nino makes it easy for people to open up. 

Follow Nino on Facebook: Nino, the little green dinosaur with a really big heart. 

Nino is so glad that his first published dino-stories are proving helpful.  Children, parents and professionals using Nino’s products report that Nino is a powerful tool to help children, and especially those families dealing with difficult events and sensitive issues.


In Nino’s Mourning Story, about the loss of a loved one, Nino’s mom leads him through the process of grief with care and creativity. The dinosaur family is able to find joy even in their sadness and Nino is supported in his bereavement.

Since Nino’s own dino-family has been impacted by serious health issues, he has a special place in his heart for sick kids. Nino has grown up in and around hospitals and has patient friends of all ages. He also has connections in healthcare all over the world. 

Nino is very proud to be a part of the global community that is Natalie’s Circle of Love.  Although he never met Natalie when she was alive, she reminds Nino of his Dino-sister Annie, who also demonstrated that, though you may never be cured, it is possible to be healed, enjoy good quality of life and die peacefully, knowing you are loved.   

Nino knows first hand that there are lots of creative ways to support sick kids, even when resources are scarce. He does his best to inspire compassion & educate people about the need for palliative care. It makes him sad to know that worldwide, there are 20 million children who would benefit from palliative care, but too often do not have access to services. 

Nino collaborates with friends in the International Children’s Palliative Care Network to help educate and inspire support for the total care of children diagnosed with a serious illness. 

Nino is so proud to be a champion for Rare Diseases South Africa and strengthen the work of the dynamic team of change-makers working to re-imagine the future for Rare Families.


Even though he feels fine and looks good, late last year Nino was diagnosed with a Rare Skin Disease and has now been priority listed for a skin transplant. Nino is sad because, until he gets new skin, he can’t visit his friends.  He needs our help to raise the money needed for his transplant operation so that he can pop up, new and improved, and claim his second chance in life. 

With our help, Nino will be good & clean & fresh, Tra-la-la!
Nino is very happy that his new thick skin will be strong, resilient and super easy to clean. He is relieved that he will still be soft, smooth and as bright-green as ever.  

After Nino’s skin transplant he gets to pop up wherever he pleases and he is looking forward to playing with new-born babies (like his Dino-brother Leo)  and spending time with friends feeling crummy and at risk of infection. 

  • A parent, grandparent, family member or friend to a precious child
  • A savvy business leader supporting entrepreneurs with a strong brand, great design and a triple win strategy
  • A grant-maker promoting social innovation to meet the Millennium Goals 
  • A professional counsellor, therapist, doctor or healthcare practitioner 
  • A teacher, facilitator, educator, social worker
  • A puppeteer, performer, storyteller or creative soul 
  • An expert in safety & health, and the environment 
  • An academic, tracking pathways to the future
  • A dinosaur,  or lover of dinosaurs


What are the funds for?

  • To produce Nino soft toys with new high quality, easy to clean skin. (Our production partners also upholster seats for the Airline industry so we are confident Nino’s new skin will be strong.) 
  • To market Nino soft toys to retail partners 
  • To gift Nino soft toys to beneficiary families in the Rare Diseases SA Community (NPO : 120 – 991;  PBO: 930044787)

  • Produce of 1000 new improved Nino Soft Toys & ship them to our office in Cape Town.
  • Develop and produce sales tools to market Nino
  • To employ a dedicated sales person with retail experience
  • Gift Nino’s to our strategic partners  & key stakeholders 
  • Compensate (if only in part!) the core team developing Nino 

  • Increase the production order and negotiate a better deal for more Nino soft toys.
  • Extend Nino’s marketing collateral to better support sales
  • Pay team members slightly more respectable fees and cover costs so we can keep working


  • Develop Nino’s tablet application on iOS and populate his digital platforms with great relevant content for children.
  • Design high-impact, short-form Edutainment Moments so that Nino & Poppy can Pop UP and Perform for people in the real world. Nino wants to share his transplant story and raise awareness for hand-washing.


You can help Nino even if right now you are not in a position to invest money

  • Friend and Follow Nino – the little green dinosaur with a really big heart on FaceBook
  • Leave a message of support and encouragement on his digital platforms
  • Tag #Skin4Nino and share Nino’s posts to help him reach new friends 



About the project owner

Mathilde is a designer and Nino’s creator.  She dreamed him up about 4 years ago to help families communicate about difficult subjects. In 2013, she moved to Cape Town and decided to create her company: Mat&More and develop Nino, his stories, his world… She thinks he is doing very well and is very proud to see that he is so helpful in the world.  Mathilde has big plans for Nino once he has his new high quality skin and is looking forward to making Nino available to children all over the world.

Find more information about Nino on the Nino Collection website

Shirley first met Nino in 2014 when she visited the Design Indaba in Cape Town just a few months after the death of her 13 year daughter. Following Natalie’s strict instructions to help others, Shirley now uses her experience as a Momcologist to help promote family centred care.  

Nino is the perfect companion for Shirley and the little green dinosaur loves to travel with her as she goes about her business. He helps her to engage and cross-pollinate ideas across her diverse networks and together they work to promote a culture of creativity, care and collaboration.  


A talented performer skilled in physical theatre and improvisation, Bridget brings Nino to life. In her hands, Nino is adorable – sometimes a little shy, sometimes flirty, often funny and quick-witted, and always kind and respectful. 
When she isn’t popping up, performing or enjoying playdates with Nino, Bridget teaches drama to children and works in the film industry as a casting director and Poppy the Care Clown.


Poppy is a sweet young character developed by Bridget as part of her work with The UPliftment Program, founded by Joy Activist, Nicola Jackman.   Almost every Saturday morning, Poppy takes Nino to Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town to join her Care Clown friends and bring gifts of love and laughter to kids stuck inside and feeling crummy.  

Nino and Poppy are the best of friends and have lots in common. They both love stories, art, cooking, gardening and being in nature, and of course, they adore playdates with friends. Nino and Poppy work and play beautifully together – they know how to stay safe and have fun.


Nino has a big crush on Kelly du Plessis, who founded the organisation Rare Diseases South Africa (RDSA) in 2010 after her infant son was diagnosed with a rare condition. Kelly lives in Johannesburg with her husband, their son and daughter.


Andrea and Piera are two young designer from Politecnico di Milano. Thanks to the exchange programs of the faculty they had the possibility to study one semester abroad, in Cape Town. During their adventures in the city they met this little green dinosaur and decided to invest their creativity to help him conquer his new skin!


Nino is very grateful to all the donors and angel investors around the world  willing to help make his new skin possible. He is counting down the days to the operation and cant wait to be out in the world again. He visits his site every day to thank the wonderful community helping to raise him and invest FUNds in his future. Its very bright.   


NB: To do a crowdfunding campaign on Ulule, you need a European Bank account. As the company Mat&More is  based in Cape Town we are collecting the money of the campaign on Mathilde de Blois’ bank account in France. If the campaign is succesful the money will be transfered to the South African Bank account of Mat&More and things will be handled from here!

Contact Information:

Mathilde De Blois
Shirley Lowe
Bridget McCarthy
Kelly Du Plessis

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