KasSnippets - September 2013
Reporting KAS in South Africa
KAS HELPS THE VICTIMS OF SHACK FIRES
Wikipedia says, "Fire is a serious hazard in shack (informal) settlements in South Africa and it has been argued that "on average, over the past 5 years, there are ten shack fires per day with someone dying in a shack fire somewhere in South Africa every other day." Key reasons for shack fires are listed as "lack of land, lack of housing, denial of access to electricity, to adequate water and to adequate emergency services", a sad indictment of "municipal policy-choices that have accomplished little towards changing the circumstances under which the urban poor live, causing them to bear the awful brunt of continuing cycles of death and destruction".
Knit-a-Square found itself more closely associated with this issue in the past week ... in the first instance, our recent delivery of 5 large boxes of KAS items to our good friend Maureen in KwaZulu Natal coincided remarkably with the fire at Jika Joe's settlement near Pietermaritzburg and enabled Mama Ntombi Community Projects mentor, Sandra Pillay, to distribute blankets and other items to those who had lost their homes, in a matter of days! Sandra reports, “The fire devastated lives after destroying some 100 shacks, leaving more than 350 people destitute - they lost their homes and all their belongings. Gogo Ntuli told us that her son, Zama's house was also burnt down. She screamed at him to get his ID book as it is difficult to replace this, and he ran out with the ID and just the pants he was wearing at 4am that fateful morning. Pastor Chris, the Vice Chairman of Mama Ntombi's Community Projects joined me (Sandra) at the scene this morning and distributed food, blankets, shoes and clothes to some of the people affected. More help is needed to relieve the plight of these poor, devastated communities and we are especially concerned about mothers with babies and small children."
To read the rest of the report please Click here
For the other recent reports :
THE KNIT-A-SQUARE SHOP
Please go to the Knit-A-Square Shop today and purchase something special to support the day-to-day operations (KasOps) directly in South Africa.
We will be adding a Sewing Kit very soon, so please pop in! This item will be a prelude for KAS to take 'the next step' and provide knitting/crocheting and sewing lessons to enable people to develop skills that will help them sustain themselves or even develop a small business.
The good news is that we have sold 60+ reams to help provide education and fun for the children we distribute to!
Link for : Fuel for a Distribution
Click on 'You Did It' above and see the two dancing giraffes celebrating! On 13th September Diane added 135 squares which filled the KasVan for a second time!
The final total is 18,579 squares or 530 blankets !
We must say a big big thank you to Linda Maltby for nurturing and making this such a fun Wish List Challenge - it really motivated everyone to get the squares filling every inch of our wonderful KasVan!
To celebrate Sharon (Australia) produced a replica square of the above graph!
The next Wish List Challenge is going to be :
The challenge will involve a Sight Seeing Trip Around the World and pile upon pile of squares! We need 50 squares per foot! Our starting point will be The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen Harbour, Denmark - she is 4ft, so we need 200 squares to measure up to the tip of her head. Once this has been reached, will move onto the next target which is likely to be the Greyfriars Bobby statue in Edinburgh, Scotland, which will take us to 375 squares, then onto the Long Walk to Freedom Statue of Nelson Mandela in South Africa at 575 squares! Essentially, each time members add their squares we are going to move the target even higher!
The final part of the challenge is to reach the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town South Africa, which stands at 3,558 ft and requires 178,000 squares!
The challenge is to be posted on the Forum on 22nd October.
We need members to post every possible square into this challenge and would love to see photographs of your piles!
WHAT'S GOING ON IN SOUTH AFRICA?
PORT ALFRED DISTRIBUTION IN 2013 - KAS sent a consignment down to Port Elizabeth with the very generous financial help of Fawn Jopson of Coastland Sales in Port Elizabeth, whose Johannesburg offices paid for a courier service (they also paid in 2012!).
In Port Elizabeth they were taken over by Davina (a distant cousin of Ronda's) who also runs a group of knitters making squares, having them stitched up and distributed locally.
Davina took this KAS consignment to Port Alfred, about 90 kms away, where municipal councillor, Terri Stander distributed them and took photographs.
In the first picture Davina is the blonde lady on the left and Terri Stander to the right. Ronda asked me to mention the lady in the middle carrying a load on her head - these ladies walk miles and miles in South Africa carry such weights!
To see more photographs go to Port Alfred page
DISTRIBUTIONS & BLANKETS
Earlier this year KAS did a distribution at a school in Diepsloot :
In July we revisited a Day Care Centre in Ithutheng which is monitored by Wandile.
"The children were very excited to see us – it took us so long to get there they may well have given up hope of us ever arriving! They lined up in neat rows for their warm tops and beanies, but this orderly process quickly changed when the toys came out and the children shrieked with excitement at the sight of all the lovely soft toys."
Blankets - Lorinda has added more completed blankets (over 200 from her team of stitchers since joining KAS in 2012) to The Knit-a-Square Blanket Album - you may even spot your squares!
The JBay Recycling Project & Stitch Witch News
The Recycling Project were privileged, the past week to receive a visit from Teresa Chan and Helen Or of the Rotary Club of Bayview Sunshine Hong Kong. After seeing the Recycling Project’s display in May 2012 at the Rotary Convention in Bangkok they were so impressed with the project, that they let us know that their Rotary club wanted to give us a matching grant in conjunction with the Rotary Foundation.
The money from this grant was what the Recycling Project used from Desember 2012 to May 2013 to stock the shop with school shoes, shirts, socks, food and other stock!
After their visit, they send us this e-mail (edited) :
Dear Carina and Salomien,
Thank you so much for your kindness in hosting Helen, CP and I during our visit in Jeffreys Bay. Your warm hospitality and thoughtful arrangement made our trip so much memorable and enjoyable.
Through your detail introduction and site visits, we realize how important the JBay Recycling Project for the children in your community, you are not only helping them earned their reward with dignity but educate them how to manage their saving of mulas in exchange for targeted goods, so to let them have a dream for future. We are so much moved by JBay Recycling project when hearing the stories from you, your fellow members and volunteers. It was indeed our great honor and pleasure to be the International partner for this meaningful project.
We would like to express our sincere thanks for your warm friendship and valuable time extended to us. We are confident that the JBay recycling project will be sustainable under your leadership. In the meantime, we will contact CrossRoad International to see how many supplies they can support you, and will keep you informed of the progress.
Enclosed please find few photos taken by our camera, the rest of the photos will be shared by dropbox for recalling our happy memories.
The Stitch Witch Group's blankets are still very popular!
SORTED IN AFRICA
Here are a few of the recent opening day photos, To see more open day photographs please go to Sorted in Africa
Over the years Ronda has received lots of wonderful letters from school children who want to help. We'll share them gradually that came from the 3M class, Ambleside, Tasmania Island (Australia) :
Nixon Street Primary - Tasmania Island, Australia
KAS GROUP NEWS
The USA Group has been having a Fundraising Drive for Nancefield Creche. With a target of $1700 for the purpose of supplying the Nancefield crèche with chairs and tables. This crèche is housed in an abandoned gym with concrete floor and dingy, painted brick walls. The children have nothing to sit on and no supplies to work with or toys to play with. The teacher is trying to keep these children safe during the day when their caregivers drop them off, but she is working in the midst of terrible conditions. As this edition is being typed they are $400 short, but hopefully this will very soon be rectified!
In France, Isabelle Bourguignon has created a wonderful link with a nursing home in Noisy Le Roi. Isabelle telephoned the home in late June and spoke with her contact Corinne, who is responsible for the everyday activities of the ladies. Corinne presented the KAS story to the residents and they were THRILLED to be contributing. Read this wonderful heart-warming story of the New French Volunteers !
In Philadelphia USA, Debbie Posmontier has had a basket of knitting and crochet supplies in the waiting room of her chiropractor's office. The is a great way to spread-the-word, to read more go to Waiting Room Time? Knit-a-Square! Why not copy Debbie and ask your friendly therapist or dentist practice if they would be willing to do something similar and reduce the stress for those waiting for their appointments?
KAS MONTHLY CHALLENGES
The Challenge for October was to have been Music lead by Anne Lokken, unfortunately Anne is not able to lead due to the pressures of moving home, which at the time of planning the challenges was not on the horizon! Therefore, the Education Challenge will be extended for a week and Mary Anne Fellows has graciously stepped into the breech to lead an UnChallenge - which involve finishing off those squares that get set aside when a new challenge appears and a lot more - do look out for it to be posted in the first week in October!
Here is the list for the rest of the year for those of you who like to snap up bargain yarns in preparation! The list can be accessed on the Forum - Challenge Themes for 2013
SQUARE LISTS - TALLY - ITEM COUNT
Square Lists for August is ready for viewing.
Received in August : Squares 15,491 (442 blankets);
Tops 504 and Beanies 1,106
For further details go to the discussion page Square Lists - Tally - Item Count for previous months.
Please don't forget to include your email address so that you receive an acknowledgement once the parcel has been opened! The files that Erica created for the Package Inventory to make parcel opening day easier for the team in South Africa, and for keeping track of all the items received, are in the lower left hand corner of the discussion. These files can be downloaded.
OCTOBER PATTERN OF THE MONTH
by Linda Maltby
Cozy Jumper by Kathy Platts (UK)
October’s pattern is a thick, warm jumper/sweater.
This jumper is perfect for both the novice and experienced knitter.
It is easy to make and many have found this knitting pattern to be very addictive.
The body is longer than wide to cover the child’s back and tummy.
The children need this tunic length to keep their bodies warm during the cold
South African winters.
Click here to view the Album containing members’ variations of the Cozy Jumper.
Link to Kathy's Cozy Jumper
This is one of the many patterns to be found in the
If you see another pattern you would like to try, please do!
SQUARE HEART OF THE MONTH AWARD
Edited this month by Laurie Fortier
This month the Square Heart Award goes to
Anneke from the Netherlands
Anneke has been a devoted member of KAS since November 2010. You only have to chat with Anneke once to know what a wonderful, kind and generous person she is.
Visit Anneke's photo page
KAS FACEBOOK PAGE
We have received an additional 147 Likes on the Facebook page so far during August/September taking our total to 6,194! We also copy the messages etc received on Facebook to the Forum for anyone who is not a member of FB.
KAS snippets is always interesting, you do a wonderful job and it is amazing to see what KAS can achieve and celebrate each month. Thanks so much !
Another great issue! Thanks for all the work you put into this Pam.
A great read, Pam. THANKS so much. :))
Thank you Pam, another wonderful round up of news.
Congratulations to Anneke for your gorgeous work for KAS.
More inspiring reading. Thanks, Pam, for another wonderful issue!
Thanks Pam for another informative overview of the month.
It is gratifying to know that KAS was there to help after the fire. It also underlines the need for more and more squares so the team in South Africa can deliver blankets at a moment's notice
I love reading about all the projects and I will make one or two of Octobers sweater/jumper and I can try some teddies as well.
Brenda from Montreal Canada
Pam, when I read your report I am amazed at how much has happened in a month. My knowledge of South African geography is improving, but more importantly, one can see what a great need KAS covers. It is really heartening 'to hear the shrieks of children when the cuddlies arrive'. A big thank you for your reporting.
I was thrilled to see my contribution to KAS acknowledged in the Tally for August. I had a much bigger parcel but the postage was so exorbitant decided to halve it and shall send another parcel soon.. Sorry if I sound I'm whinging, but would really love for Australia Post to have some heart. (I have asked every time, but it just can't be done legally). KAS does a really wonderful service for the needy children (and adults now, since the fires). I love knitting and crocheting for KAS and the kids, so shall keep on doing it, and shall write more letters to Australia Post. lol
PS Notice the shipping cost above? Just as well there's lots and lots of love and dedication = $Priceless
Yes Jeannie, postage must be considered part of our donation to KAS. It's too bad that postal services worldwide couldn't offer a better rate for charity. From Canada, I find it is definitely cheaper to send 2 kg parcels. Anything above that is a ridiculous price. Keep writing those letters :-)
The photos are divine and always make me smile.