On this particular morning we had organised to distribute to a couple of Lindi's contacts.

Always an interesting exercise because we need to allocate an extra hour always towards the inevitability of becoming hopelessly lost on the way to our venue, always ... and true to form on this occasion we managed to wander around for quite a while, searching for a "BLUE ROOF" which was the given landmark.

Needless to say, they appear to LOVE blue roofs in this specific area as every second building seemed to have one !!  Bizarre and confusing ... even the school had a bright blue roof !! We laughed although Lindi was getting tense towards the end of our search!

We eventually found the community centre (with a vividly blue roof of course) and the kiddies came pouring in from the surrounding areas.

It was a big group of 100 odd kids ... well organised, well behaved, orderly and very cute.


The day was absolutely FREEZING, with a strong, icy wind blowing, so we felt really good about dishing out all the blankets, most of which had been stitched previously by the gogo groups within the same community.  Knit-a-Square only needed to add 27 or so from our own stocks, in order to make up the correct numbers.

We then moved on to Onica's daycare to visit another group of shivering kids.

We set off on our blind adventures and eventually found Onica's ... thankful for mobile phones !

Onica kindly walked along to the end of her road until we met up, and then she "walked" us back to her place.

Onica and her group had also stitched most of the blankets and all we needed to do, in this case, was to take a few extras along with beanies, handwarmers, soft toys and apples/other food items.

When we arrived there was a crowd gathered outside, mostly adults - and they spent the entire distribution hanging over the wall.  It made us feel SO bad as they were begging for some of the items we were handing out, but of course we had only catered with just enough for the children.  Surprisingly the "inner circle" of Onica's daycare were completely unmoved by their needy neighbours and shoed them away- quite mercilessly it seemed to us.

Some of these pics show adult men (there were many there, plus a whole bunch of women braaing and preparing food on the open fires - lovely smell, LOTSA smoke !!).

Anyway these men hung around and only towards the end did I realise that they wanted to formalise the occasion by making speeches ... my pet dread under normal circumstances, but each of them spoke beautifully, with gratitude and reverence to God.  It was truly touching, in fact.  Some of the men donned blankets to sing, dance and join in with the generally celebratory atmosphere !

Everyone was thrilled.  They praised KAS to the skies and generally it was chaotic, but suitably FREEZING cold and a good time was had by all in the end !

As I type this, I am still wondering about those "outsiders" hanging over the wall - they were so helpful in prizing loose the KAS banner from a barbed wire fence where it had snagged on the outside of the property.  But Onica was adamant that they stay outsiders ... while I would have loved to let them in for the braai !

FOOTNOTE:  Lindi informed us last week that Onica has died since we made this distribution - how tragic.  She was young. Life in Africa is so tenuous and we are all sad for her family and friends, and for the children under her care.

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  • I agree, rest in peace Onica and my sympathies to her loved ones. I admit, seeing all those desperate adults outside the daycare makes me wonder if they won't just strip everything off the children first chance they get?  I mean it happens. :(

    • I must add though that I do wish we had enough hats and handwarmers for those adults. I know we don't and we can't but it would be a lovely world if we could eh?   If the Go-Go's are from this area that sewed up most of the blankets, would they, if supplied with yarn, be able to make items and sell them and gain some employment, some money for necessities?  Just wondering.

      Do we know who is taking over the daycare?  I still think about Onica...an earth angel gone home.  No doubt she will be sorely missed.  Glad we got to meet her, even if just for this short time.

  • I am so happy to see all these photos and the smiles on the faces of the children. But the news about Onica is so sad. My thoughts go to her family.

  • Thank you for sharing this touching story of the distribution Ronda. It is heartbraking that such a lovely young woman passed away. Rest in pease Onica.

  • Ronda thank you for another wonderful distribution report. Always great to see the children with their new gifts, but what a tragic ending. Rest in peace Onica.
  • Thank you for this report. It is wonderful to see so many smiling faces and little ones in warm blankets! They certainly seem to love their toys. However, it is very sad to hear about Onica. My thoughts are with all who knew her. I hope that the day-care centre continues, as from the pictures I'm sure she would want it to.

  • Thank you for such a great report , but a sad ending rest in peace Onica
    • Died ? how tragic.. I hope that the centre will continue. Its marvellous to read the the GoGos are sewing up blankets in large numbers and can see their work directly benefiting the community.

  • One can see that it was a really, cold day.  I'm struck by the young healthy-looking men.  Adult males are so absent from the photos in general.  Can they be incorporated in the solution apart from speechifying?  Rest in peace, Onica.  Thank you for all that you have done.

  • Thank you for this report - so honest. I am guessing that is Onica in the last image.

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