This week has been a little quieter than the last few and was a great opportunity to gather ourselves, list all that needs to be done, get on with some more sorting at the office and ensure that we are staying on track !
The new office is coming along nicely and we are pleased to report that we now have so much space that we are able to sort each of the items into sizes and ensure that we can easily get to everything. This makes packing for the various distributions a breeze! (When we have finished sorting and labeling we will be sure to take photos so that you can see what we have been up to).
We have been able to assist many of our loyal friends again this week, who, because of your generosity, are helping so many orphaned and vulnerable children.
Yesterday we visited Nancefield in Soweto and although we have visited this day care centre before, each time it is in answer to an appeal for a fresh intake of new children. We always look forward to meeting with Lindiwe who runs this school and does such a great job of it. The Day Care is housed in what used to be a boxing gym belonging to South Africa’s very own Flyweight Champion, “Baby Jake” Matlala. It is a large, safe, indoor area for the children, but very cold because of concrete flooring and the brick and plastered walls. So, the children were grateful for the warm blankets, tops and beanies we took them and the day care mothers were thrilled with the stationery supplies and food. Many of the children had colds and runny noses, so hopefully our (your) contribution will have them feeling warmer and better … soon !
Wandi, Ronda and Lindi with the children at Nancefield.
Something that always amazes me at these schools is how these little ones have learnt to share. There was one small piece of playground equipment at this school, but they crammed into it like little sardines and took it in turns to make sure everyone was included. We took through a large, knitted ball which the children loved and it did not take them long to start up a somewhat chaotic indoor soccer match. I can just imagine mothers around the world yelling – “stop playing with the ball inside the house” … but not in this case!
We are expecting a full house of volunteers today and just as well, because the mailroom is packed. We have parcels from Australia, the UK, the USA, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Germany, France the Netherlands, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and even Saudi Arabia waiting to be opened.
I am headed off to Cape Town on Monday and will be returning to Johannesburg on Friday, 9 August. But, no sunning on the beach for me ! Not only is it cold and wet in the Cape at this time of the year, but I will be looking after my three young grandchildren while their mum and dad go over to Italy! Wendy will continue to hold the KAS fort while I am away and she will post a report for you each week.
Enjoy this week’s photographs…..
Thank you, Ronda, for this exhaustive report. We forget that you are a grandmother in your own right and should be spending time with your grandchildren. Enjoy your stay in Cape Town and have a great time with your grandchildren. It is wonderful to hear that Wendy will carry on in your absence.
Seeing how the children are cocooned in their blankets, spurs me on to do more. I see that our parcel from Slovenia has arrived. Enjoy the opening.
Thanks Mili - we enjoyed opening your parcel today and I did actually type an email in response, but somehow it got lost in cyberspace !! It MAY turn up though .... xoxoxo
Another wonderful Report, Ronda. You may not realize how much impact the details you include have on those of us who are comfortable and far away.
I am amazed at what you said about these children, who have so little, being so good about sharing. You mentioned this a long time ago - at least about how orderly some of the distributions are - children waiting patiently to receive their blanket. I'm afraid that here, in our affluent society, so many kids have a "me first" attitude. It sounds like anything we can manage to "slip-in" to our parcels really makes a difference too.
Have a wonderful time in Capetown!
Thanks Ronda for another interesting and challenging report... it is so good to have up to date first hand information about what is happening and an encouragement to get on with the knitting and crocheting... enjoy your grandchildren..
Thank you and have a blessed and fun time with your grandchildren. Thanks to Wendy for covering for you and all the others there who work so hard.
Thanks to you all for your interest and kind comments ... as I always say, we couldn't do ANY of this without your talent and generosity in the first place !
Thanks also for good wishes for my visit to Cape Town ... I am so looking forward to seeing the family again and am sure the time will fly past !
And yes I DO agree - huge thanks to Wendy for holding the fort, keeping the home fires burning and generally just being a KAS-star !!!
Wonderful to read your news letter Ronda and Team,
The children look so warm and cosy with the hats and blankets. Wrapped in love. They look like mini rainbows.
All the effort is so worthwhile. Ronda you are all so wonderful and it is motivating to see what the end result of all the knitting and crochet. Some of my parcels should be arriving by now. I think they must have gone by paddle boat.
Yes Marion, mine do actually go by seamail from Australia.....and I have just seen some pics of my squares that I knitted last August/September in blankets. Having said that I know a lot got held up with the postal strikes last year/early this year. Maybe mine went by canoe....LOL
Thanks once again for finding time to post this great report, Ronda. I am sure you must have a million and one last minute things to do before you leave.....and how wonderful that you have Wendy and your wonderful team of volunteers to carry on in your absence....STARS, all of them!!!
Have a safe and happy journey/holiday and look forward to 'seeing' you soon. xx
I second what everyone has said, what a great newsletter. We really feel like we're right there with you on the ground helping and what a priviledge it is to make a real difference in the world. I totally understand there is ongoing need at previously visited daycares and settlements and we actually like to hear how they are currently getting along.
It sounds like whoever knitted that ball was inspired and you could use many more, though I expect they'd wear out fast unless made of rug yarn or Phentex, which seems indestructible!
I was most interested to hear there are outlets for the baby items as some people do love sending them and I was worried you had a stockpile of them but it seems they too are finding good homes. What a relief for those of us knowing senior ladies who love making baby items and we wouldn't want to discourage them. Also hearing the stationery items go over well is a relief. I shall continue to include more. Thank you so much for taking a moment to write to us, it really does keep us connected, not to mention re-inspired to make more hats and sweaters and blanket squares!
Hello Jeanne - thanks for your comments and encouragement !
Yes, we can find outlets for the baby items ... specially real baby items which have been made using baby patterns, and not just downsized "bigger-child-friendly" patterns such as the KAS-sweaters with the straight neckline. Those are a bother for new babies whereas the bigger children love them, specially those made in lovely soft yarns !!
I think the earlier problem was that because people LOVE knitting the cute little items, we ended up with half our stock being teeny weeny - and not enough of the pre-school age items, but that has been addressed and we receive a more balanced size-range.
Our contributors really are quite wonderful !!
We thank you all !!!
Another inspiring report Ronda, I really dont know how you find the time but so grateful that you do. Beautiful photos as usual, and as we say in Norfolk, 'warms the cockles of your heart'. Enjoy a well deserved break with your family and treasured grandchildren. As yet (!) I am not blessed with grandchildren but December will bring my first great nephew, ooh cant wait for all those cuddles