Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Helping AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children.

Several years ago I chanced upon a knitting charity that has ever since been close to my heart. Knit-a-square is a charity started by a family with connections in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia. The dual perils of AIDS and extreme poverty mean that they were saddened to find endless children wandering the streets at night in the bitter cold. Sandy and Zanny came up with an idea that they weren't even sure that would work - what if all the knitters around the world knitted one square, these were stitched into blankets and these blankets could warm these precious, tiny children? Read more of their story here.

It took time, hard work and many, many challenges, but eventually the program snowballed. The current goal is to 'knit-a-squillion' - to warm 36 000 beautiful vulnerable children like Patience here.

There are many, many more children who need your help. The babies below attend a makeshift creche which are very, very common. These beautiful babies are asleep on an old piece of lino on bare soil, and winter in South Africa is bitterly cold.

These young men belong to a group home for teenage boys who are orphaned and/ or have had violent or traumatic backgrounds. This photo shows them with some of the 'go over' sweaters that KAS was able to give them - very important as their dining room is merely an open awning with tarps as walls, and they walk long distances every day.

Especially for immune compromised children, the warmth of a blanket is crucial. Having something that they own, made especially for them which is bright and colourful is also a wonderful feeling for these children who have so little.

If you would like to help, KAS needs 20cm (8 inch) squares knitted or crocheted, as well as adult sized beanies/ hats and other items. Postage information (including important customs instructions and the address to send to) can be found here.

As well as knitted goods, KAS is also desperate for funds. Whilst the huge bulk of the labour comes from volunteers, there are many unavoidable costs. These include significant transport costs, paying duty and other fees at the post office, providing refreshments to volunteers on work days and other costs. To make a one off or recurrent donation, you can click on the PayPal button here (to the right of the page). A recurrent donation for $US5 a month would mean so much to KAS.

So, for the same of this precious girl and the millions like her, please help KAS.

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