It has become obvious in the last few months and particularly since, with Erin and Clive's
help, we have been able to begin to get through the backlog, that the ratio of squares to knitted garments is changing.
Where we used to get perhaps 90% squares to 10% knitted garments, this is moving closer to 50/50.
The knitted garments are beautiful and will warm little bodies in the months to come. However, there are problems associated with this that we now must address.
- For the moment, our resources in South Africa remain limited. We are not yet able to put in place the operations manager as described in our April Appeal.
Opening and stacking JUST squares to deliver to our increasing groups of sewers is quick and efficient. This process slows down significantly when we are also sorting jumpers, vest, hats, go-overs, slip-overs and baby clothes into piles according to age and distribution possibilities.
- Working out suitable distribution methods too for a variety of sizes of clothes is not as easy either as assembling blankets which are a universal size and can be wrapped on any orphan anywhere at anytime.
- We are desperate for more squares and currently not able to meet the quotas we have been arranging either with sewers or other groups like Oasis South Africa.
- We determined to distribute a hat with every blanket, but we currently have far more hats than the blankets we can distribute. So for now, we must just concentrate on squares.
Let me outline our immediate needs for squares:
OASIS - Oasis is a charity working in Cosmo City - a huge redevelopment project for previous shack settlement dwellers. They have 30 community workers who are taking the blanket packs to clinics for HIV/AIDS infected mothers to sew for their children and or go-gos to sew for their orphaned grand-children. These are all for children desperately in need. As the mothers are HIV/AIDS infected, the children are often affected or infected with HIV/AIDS too. Their goal was 500 blankets for this year (and each year from now on) requiring 17,500 squares. So far we have delivered 5,000 squares, so we need another 12,500 squares to fulfil this goal.VUSELELA COMMUNITY CENTRE, DIEPSLOOT
- Sister Sato currently has 635 children who they term OVC - orphaned or vulnerable children - in her
day care centre. This number grows each day. So far we have given out about 90 blankets, so we aim to provide squares for another 540 blankets: 18,900 squares.
CRECHES - Wandile has identified at least another 30 creches similar to Itumeleng Creche (the babies on the floor).
Each creche has approximately 35 children in them. That is 1050 blankets = about 36,750. While we would like to deliver to all of them, realistically we should aim for 10. Total squares 12,250.
THEMBISA SHACK SETTLEMENT - Anne de Wit has identified a need for 100 children who need blankets urgently. Total squares: 3,500 squares.
ANTOINETTE MCMASTER SEWING GROUP - Antoinette lives in Johannesburg and
group of knitters and sewers who are prepared to sew 50 blankets a month
so we will be distributing 1,750 squares per month to her, through
Erin. The blankets will be returned each month for distribution to identified creches and orphanages. For a total of 3 months 5,250.
METHODIST CHURCH SEWING GROUP PIMVILLE SOWETO - Lindiwe had a meeting with their
chairlady (Khaya) who has organised a sewing group. There is a diarised distribution for June 2. They require additional squares for the distributions they are committed to. Total squares 3,500.
To fulfil these obligations over the next 3 months: 55,900 squares.
OUR AIM IS TO PUT BLANKETS ON CHILDREN and for that we need SQUARES, SQUARES, SQUARES.
In consultation with Ronda, Erin and all the mods, we have decided to ask that the next 3 months challenges are square related. Along with ensuring that we get blankets around as many of the 'toddlers on the floor' of creches, we really want to fulfil these needs that we have also identified.
We must also work within our resources and use them wisely. If we can open, sort and bundle 3000 squares in a day rather than 1000 squares and 500 knitted items, then that is a wise use of our volunteers time at present.
If you are involved in making, hats, jumpers go-overs, baby clothes etc of course, please complete and send them. But then for the next 3 months, I hope you will understand our overwhelming need for squares.
Our mods have come up with innumerable wonderful, exciting ways to make our June/July /August challenges a real tribute to our humble square. And we will be putting up all the challenges soon, including the dozens and dozens of ideas to make these three months the most exciting of our challenge history yet. You will be completely inspired I am certain!
Remember the term we use for the square - 'a currency of hope.
' Please let that inspire you to outdo ourselves to a fantastic tally of squares over the next three months.
You are, as always amazing, in the way you respond and I do hope that no one will be disappointed not to be making other items for this short period while we try to fulfil our goals of more blankets on more children.