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I cannot believe how the weeks are flying by and all that we have been up to lately.  The weather is turning colder by the day, here … and it can be very chilly in the mornings and evenings.  I am trying to get back into the swing of things after having had both my sisters visiting from overseas – a very, very special time for us.

I believe that it is important for us to showcase the various aspects of the KAS operation in South Africa, not only distributions.  A group we have spoken of, and also featured as part of other reports, are the wonderful gogos who help us to sew together blankets.  I would like to share with you just how well these initiatives are progressing.

At the beginning of April I was invited, by a church friend, Liese, and the St Vincent de Paul ladies - to teach a group of ladies in Diepsloot how to sew together our blanket packs.  ME, teaching people how to sew – unbelievable really!!!!  But, these ladies are so willing to learn and it is an incredible blessing to be able to empower them with a new skill.

 Teaching the ladies in Diepsloot to sew together the blankets for KAS.

Thanks to your generous donations of wool and sewing aids, together with the support we receive via the KAS shop, we are increasingly able to teach groups of ladies how to sew together the blankets and then progress to other knitting and crocheting activities.  Liese and others have, for some time, been coaching this group in various skills, including vegetable gardening, in the hopes that they may be able to sell the items they make, and produce from the allotments. 

You may imagine my delight when, two weeks ago, a group of these very same new friends from Diepsloot were selling some of the beautiful items they had created, after church.  It is wonderful to see how these relatively small initiatives are so eagerly embraced to become sustainable enterprises in a short space of time.  A second batch of blanket packs has been delivered for stitching up already and Liese reports that the ladies LOVE stitching squares together for KNIT-A-SQUARE!!

 Having started off just learning some basic sewing skills, these ladies will soon be able to generate their own income and support their families.

We have featured another group of ladies who have been assisting KAS for some time now – the gogos of Chiawelo in Soweto. 

 The Chiawelo gogos.

These ladies get together on a weekly basis at the local community centre and after an exercise class they relax together and stitch up our blankets, crocheting a border around each one.  We have been supporting these ladies with wool and crochet hooks and have been contributing R10.00 for each completed blanket.  They pool this money and use it for various projects to upgrade their facilities at the centre.  So many of these ladies are just grateful for the opportunity to keep busy; to have a group of like-minded ladies to socialise with on a weekly basis and to give back to their community. 

 We collected a KASvan full of blankets from the Chiawelo gogos recently.  Wandi enjoying the comfortable ride and I think Wendy is buried in there somewhere too!

Wendy and I have done some travelling recently while distributing all your blankets and goodies and I look forward to sharing our travels with you.  I must just mention what a great hit the hand warmers have been – keep them coming!  The next report with feature a day care centre that left both Wendy and I distraught – have those tissues handy….

 There’s Wendy – I knew she was in there somewhere, taking selfies with Wandi.  One day I will get Wendy to drive so I can take it easy amongst piles of blankets in the back of the KASvan!!!!!

PS.  Before I forget, whatever you do, don’t let on that I can sew, the next thing Peter will expect me to darn his socks and that is NOT going to happen!  After more than 40 years, this leopard is not going to change her spots!!!