Each year, Mandela Day is supported by more and more people all over the world.  This year was no different and Knit-A-Square South Africa was involved in more projects than ever before.

We hope you enjoy this photo and caption report of what ended up as a few Mandela weeks for us!

Abegail Ndaba (a KAS SA board member) distributed some of the beautiful blankets made by the staff of Headline Leisure Management in South Africa.  They were donated to the children of the Reatlegele Care Centre in Lephalale.

Beautifully made up gift packs for the children!

A very colourful affair!

Bishop’s School in the Cape collected squares and stitched together blankets that were distributed by Sian Bottega (my daughter) and Camille in the Cape on Thursday 23rd July. 

Some of the children who received blankets in the Cape!

Ezelda at Sanlam (a South African business) in the Cape made 23 blankets and approximately 950 squares which were collected by KAS on the 14th July and distributed around Mandela Day.

The entrance to Sanlam decorated with the blankets and squares they made for Knit-A-Square South Africa.


Sister Susan, a friend of KAS for many years now, distributed 67 blankets and beanies as well as baby clothes and KASCuddles at the Baragwanath Hospital Maternity Ward.  The majority of baby blankets were made by Spoor and Fischer, a South African group of attorneys.

Sister Susan and her husband Ben collecting baby items for the Baragwanath Maternity Ward!

Sister Susan with her piles of baby blankets, clothes and KASCuddles!

The Gracepoint Church in Bryanston assisted KAS by distributing 100 blankets to children in Soweto on 18th July as well as more than 60 adult sized beanies to people living in an informal settlement in Fourways.  They run Justice Month in July each year.

All the bags packed and ready to be delivered to Gracepoint!


Another friend of KAS, Boitumelo distributed some scarves and adult sized beanies to Twselopelo Old Age Home in Hillbrow and spent time with the elderly teaching them to knit.

Delighted with her beanie and scarf!

On 14th July, lovely Wilma and Sandy from Spoor & Fischer, delivered 67 adult blankets, 67 baby blankets, 67 beanies, 67 sets of hand warmers and 67 soft toys all made by the Spoor & Fischer staff, family and friends.  Some of these items were distributed a week later at the Baragwanath hospital by Sister Susan.

Wilma and Sandy with their Mandela Day gifts!


JAM co-ordinated the stitching together of 20 blanket packs by various corporate groups which were distributed to Sisonke Day Care with an additional 28 blankets to ensure that all 48 children were kept warm.  Sisonke is in the Zandspruit Informal Settlement.  We are still waiting for the promised photographs.

Sibongile from the National Health Laboratory Service distributed blankets that her group had stitched together for Knit-A-Square.  She collected beanies, soft toys and hand warmers and visited the Barney’s Child Care Centre.

The children at Barney’s day Care Centre all bundled up!


Jaguar in Bryanston donated 31 blankets to Knit-A-Square South Africa to be distributed.

Sherrill Horne of UPS delivered blankets/squares made by the staff of UPS as part of their support for Mandela Day.  We are still to open all their boxes up.

We ran two MedLemon Knitting Schools.  One at Vuselela on Friday, 17 July where another 34 women learned to knit or crochet.  The second Knitting School was held at Chiawelo Community Centre on Mandela Day where 18 women/girls and 1 gentleman joined us.

Oti and Kedi training at Vuselela!

Lindi, Vivienne and Wandi take a breather after a morning of training at Chiawelo and before the distribution!

Johanna, one of our faithful Chiawelo gogos arranged for 52 children from the nearby Protea South informal settlement to come through to the Chiawelo Community Centre after the Knitting School.  They each received a blanket, lovely stitched together by the gogo group, and a scarf together with delicious home-made soup and some bread also bought and made by the gogos.  What an incredible group of ladies they are.  Wandi, Lindi, Vivienne, Wendy and Sarah stayed after the Knitting School for the distribution.

BEFORE – it was bitterly cold on Mandela Day in South Africa and so many of these children arrive in short sleeves, shivering….

AFTER – all bundled up and warm and about to enjoy some warm soup and bread – thanks to Johanna and her team!


Wendy and I joined the staff of GSK MedLemon and the Expresso television crew for a navy blue scarf and beanie distribution at the Usindiso Women and Children’s Shelter in Marshalltown, Johannesburg on 15th July.  We hope to be able to share the television footage of this event with you soon!


Chantel (Wendy’s sister-in-law) distributed blankets at the Inyoni Orphanage in Mandini in KwaZulu Natal.  Together with support from her church, they took the children food, groceries and Knit-A-Square blankets and jerseys.

Although this area experiences fairly moderate temperatures during the day, at night the temperatures drop considerably.


On Monday, 27 July, Wendy collected 4 149 squares made by the girls at St Stithians Private School in Johannesburg – their contribution to Mandela Day.  What a tremendous effort!


Mandela Mamas…

And lastly, a very big thank you to all those contributors who assisted Knit-A-Square South Africa financially by supporting the Mandela Mamas campaign.  Without you, we would not be able to get all these items to the children who so desperately need them!



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  • Thank you for such an informative report Ronda.

  • So many projects, so much work - what a fantastic job you do in honour of a man who had every reason to be bitter yet in reality was so forgiving and peace loving. You keep us so well informed about what you all do and provide pictures, which makes it all so real, you are an inspiration. Thank you so much.
    • Wow !! So much to take in. Businesses involved, volunteers, churches, Gogo's ,a

      family, friends what else, have I left anything out ?   It has been an amazing and very busy month. Thanks so much for taking the time to send us this report. I am in awe again !   of all KAS SA achieves.

      • I feel exhausted just reading what was achieved......thanks and praise must be given to all those involved and  particularly Team SA who continue to inspire us all....... major achievements while operating on such a meagre budget that other charities could NEVER hope to emulate.

        Mandela Mamas/Papas month may be concluded, but the need goes on.......

        Don't forget to check out the Pay The Rent discussion to see what we are doing in August......hint, hint, a SPECIAL birthday surprise.  :)) 

        • Darn it all, Bev......  I've already read about the Birthday Surprise, but while reading your post above, a repetune just invaded my brain and I'll be humming it all day.... "If everyone lit just one little candle..."

          • You could be humming worse, Anne.....great repetune.  :)) Just as well I am heading to bed in a couple of hours, 'cos I think it is stuck in my head, too.....

  • Thank you Ronda for finding the time to share this great report with us! You and the team do a brilliant job of co-ordinating the distributions, so many children benefit from your care.
    We will all have to put our thinking caps on, as Linda has mentioned, money is needed to enable you to continue working in the wonderful way that you do.
    THANK YOU Ronda and team x
  • My goodness, you've been busy!  What a wonderful report.  You all probably need to put your feet up and enoy a bit of a rest after that flurry of activity.  Mandela Day = Mandela Month indeed!

  • It is so nice to see these children having something that will keep them warm.
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