Thembalihle is near Lenasia, the formerly "Indians-only" community from apartheid days. In those days it was a dormitory camp for domestic workers in nearby affluent homes and businesses, and it is now desperately run down and unkempt and this enormous informal settlement has been established.


There is one photograph of electrical wires "poached" from pylons and

leading haphazardly along the ground, most often without any kind of

insulation, to makeshift houses to power a few lights and perhaps an

antiquated TV set. The practice is now so widespread that it is completely out of Eskom's control ... those who are on the grid and actually pay for their electricity are left angry and frustrated and violent disputes break out often between payers and poachers. 

Lives are lost ... not only of the poachers, but within the community where no safety measures are in place, wires run randomly along the roads and through puddles capable of conducting massive voltages, where children play, walk, and worse still, close to the piles of uncollected refuse (there was another strike in progress when we visited !) where children could be seen searching for food. 

Amongst this degradation, we found the delightful little daycare, Ntirisano, run by Sandile and others. We discovered that it was right next door to "Arise" which we have visited twice and reported on in the past. 

37 blankets distributed here ... and a delighted team at Ntirisano sent us on our way. 

Link to the distributions photographs : http://forum.knit-a-square.com/forum/topics/photographs-from-kas-distributions-2015-2016?commentId=3276523%3AComment%3A723389

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  • Another great distribution thank you to Ronda and team xx
  • Thank you for this report. Such deprivation is so heart-breaking but I'm glad that we were able to give something to these poor children. They all seem a little overwhelmed by the gifts but I'm sure they will be treasured. Let's hope that there is, indeed, change for these children, and all those like them, very soon.

    • I remember you saying a long while back, Pam, that whatever the politics are doing, the continued support through KAS raises the profile of the communities and their problems...and also raises their morale knowing that people thousands of miles away are bothered enough to make and send things. But change cannot come too soon.

  • Other crisis situations come and go (or don't go, like Syria), and South Africa is still struggling so desperately but isn't high on the media's agenda. Despite my long absence from the forum I DO have a pile of squares ready to pack and have been following Elaine's WIPs and UFOs discussion with great interest as there are one or some UFOs now rounded up and ready to attack. The need is greater than ever isn't it....

    • Hi Anne.

      Yes, unfortunately South Africa and Africa in general, seems to be a place of ongoing struggles. My husband and I began supporting a child in Africa, through World Vision, when our oldest child was three years old....our son is 29 next month and we have continued to support a child in Africa through W.V. ever since.....who knew that there would still be a need just as great, 26 years later. There is indeed so much need throughout the world, but heartwarming to know that every time we pick up our needles, hooks, or looms, we are making a difference, one square at a time.  :))

      • Although we try to keep politics out of the forum, the good news is that the domination of the ANC in South Africa is diminishing, and, Mmusi Maimane (Democractic Alliance) who has been happily married (a white partner) for 11 years, has won Johannesburg in the election this week. He is a new breed of young politicians who truly want to make a difference. So maybe the wind of change is emerging in Africa..........

        • Ah I am delighted to hear that he won. They are young, enthusiastic and I do hope that they can make a big difference.  As for the errant power lines, I have seen this in India and other poor countries....I can definitely keep these people in my prayers, for safety for the little ones, and help for them all.  I am SO impressed with the courage and determination and love and fortitude of the ladies who run these informal daycare centers....I, despite being considered far from affluent in Canada, feel I am incredibly rich by comparison.  I do think it's good for us to see the conditions.  It speeds our fingers.  One of your recent reports Pam, spurred me on to finish several UFO's and get other WIP's done.  I now will be sending a box and a bag, I am overflowing, very unusual for me but great.

          I must ask, were we out of hats? Is that why I didn't see hats on these children?  I can't help thinking that with that photo of Ronda with that massive pile of found Post Office parcels that their shelves will soon be stocked again, not to mention a lot of KASers have shifted into a higher gear and just looking at the photos pages shows lots of hats, squares and handwarmers and many many toys all heading over there!   Thanks for this report, Pam.  I really appreciate it and I know everyone else does too.

          love, Jeanne xoxoxo 

          • Think we are OK for hats Jeanne, however, Ronda did 6 or 7 distributions without any 'cuddlies'! She is going to try and go back with some, as a glut of parcels have turned up from heavens knows where in the South African postal system. Rivonia PO had a big wodge of them too!

        • I do hope so Pam. Having witnessed the greed, corruption and violence of some and the poverty of many in South Africa earlier this year, change is urgently needed.
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