We woke up on Friday, 6 December to the very sad news that the father of our nation, Tata Nelson Mandela (Madiba) had passed away at his home in Houghton. On behalf of all the members of Knit-A-Square we pay loving tribute to this most profoundly humble, kind and forgiving man and what better way to honour his memory than with a KAS distribution?
We teamed up with two South African businesses, Accutronics and Eketsa Interior Design, and headed to Bophelong, an informal settlement situated near Vanderbijlpark, which is in the southern-most part of Gauteng. The staff at Accutronics and Eketsa have been supporting Bophelong Children's Home for two years now, and, as part of their corporate social responsibility initiative, collect much-needed food, clothing and other items for the home and provide them with support wherever possible. Today they were taking a special Christmas delivery of gifts for the children and food to keep them going over the festive period. Knit-a-Square was made aware of this project via one of our volunteers, Gina, who belongs to the same community forum as Tobie from Accutronics and we asked whether we could join their Christmas initiative and distribute some of your warm, hand-knitted blankets, beanies and tops to the children.
Gratitude from the heart and not a dry eye in the house
Many thanks to Sandy for designing next year's KAS calendar, it is full of beautiful photos of the kids and your knitting masterpieces. The money from every purchase helps us to continue the distributions and support for the kids, their carers, the creches and the gogos of South Africa.
Please go to the Knit-A-Square Shoptoday and purchase something special to support the day-to-day operations (KasOps) directly in South Africa. This month we are highlighting Snacks – an important element of the distributions.
"KAS REACHES GREAT HEIGHTS FOR CHILDREN"
A JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD !
This challenge is going to take us around the planet whilst reaching great heights & piles of squares – 178,000 to be precise, in order to reach the top of Table Mountain, Cape Town in South Africa!
We are going to need 50 squares for every foot climbed!
Since the last month we have taken trips from London, across the Rockies, into Brazil and Tunisia. Then it was back to Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England with a diversion via Wyoming! Then we visited Italy, Switzerland and Paris for a croissant and coffee! Niagara has just fallen and we have zipped across to New Zealand! Currently, we toppled two targets in the UK this week – Nelsons Column and The Cutty Sark at Greenwich, now we are in Cornwall at The Eden Project and we need 9,000 squares to reach the top of the bio-domes!
KAS has a surplus of hats & beanies, therefore please would those of you who make hats switch to squares as essentially, 1 hat = 3 squares and will help build the piles to reach our target just that bit quicker!
This month we featured the story of Ntokozo who was burnt when her grandmother was cooking and the pot tipped over spilling hot oil on her leg. Ntokozo was spotted at the Mama Ntombi 24th November Sunday session and was taken to hospital for treatment.
Burns After hospital treatment
Mama Ntombi dressed Ntokozo
10th December Ntokozo wounds are healing nicely
22nd December completely healed!
Sabelo, who we featured last month, along with his two sisters has been 'adopted' by Lisa through the Mama Ntombi adoption programme which enables a family to be provided for by an adoptee, and who will receive regular reports.
Olwethu is also progressing well, here she is on 22nd December!
You may recall that last year the students of Beaulieu CollegeOutreachhelped to open hundreds of parcels from a giant back–log that was choking Ronda's garage. Well the students hadn't forgotten and contacted KAS to say they would like to do 'something' again. They were speedily supplied with a number of blanket square packs to turn into blankets!
Please click above and see all the beautifully results created by the students!
The Stitch Witch Group held a Teddy Bear competition so that all the children who attend the recycling sessions received a bag containing not only a teddy, but crayons, an activity book and cookies! The competition winner was Sandy Pio who managed to produce 60 of the 320 bears received.
This Jeffries Bay Community project has continued to go from strength to strength, undoubtedly helped by the presence of our lovely Stitch Witch team who continue to contribute blankets along with the help of the ladies of the Sunshine Club.
ISSUES – WE NEED YOUR HELP WITH !
With regard to the completion of the Custom Slip
attached to your parcels!
Please do check out the discussion, ZERO TOLERANCE, in Postage Information, created by Anne to help prevent unnecessary raids on our much needed funds by South Africa Customs & Revenue!
Sadly a parcel recently arrived from the UK declaring a value of £12 sterling. Unfortunately, the writing was not perfectly clear, and, South African Customs & Excise insisted it said £72 sterling, and Ronda had to pay 300 Rand (£17.50 or $30 US) to bail it out. This sum far outstripped the value of the goods contained in the parcel, plus it used up valuable cash that Knit-a-Square would prefer to spend providing the children with extra food!
Judging from the number of comments posted already, instructions to Postal Office Clerks does tend to vary, rather adds to the confusion. Canada and the UK will accept '0', but sometimes USA and Australia do require a figure. The USA, Helen has found her office accepts a value of $1, elsewhere Debbie uses '0' without any difficulties. Bev in Australia has found the $1 is accepted at her post office!
Anyhow, we are asking everyone to spread-the-word about filling in the forms extra carefully in order to safeguard Ronda's piggie bank!
KAS SQUARE MEASURE
The KAS Square Measure, is being revised and worked on, with the help of Adelina in the UK. We are tweaking it a little as the information concerning the Custom Slip is going to be added and the ruler (that shrank) is being removed. However the existing Square Measure is perfectly useable and works well as an information pack all rolled into one!
SORTED IN AFRICA
Here are acouple of opening day photographs. To see more open day photographs please go to Sorted in South Africa
Over the years Ronda has received lots of wonderful and charming letters from school children who want to help. We'll share them gradually that came from the 3M class, Ambleside, Tasmania Island (Australia) – as we are coming to the end of the year we will make these our final letters! The letters have been delightful, but due to being written in pencil it is not easy to find one that will post clearly on the page!
Nixon Street Primary – Tasmania Island, Australia
KAS GROUP NEWS &
SPREADING THE WORD
We have received an email from the students at United World College South East Asia – East Campus, Singapore. The school incorporates a Global Concerns Project into the education of the students. Here is a statement of intent from the college :
“Global Concerns is a dynamic initiative enabling students to put their ideals into action by establishing project groups which actively address specific issues about which the students care deeply. The projects focus on working to support causes and communities through direct links with partner organisations outside Singapore.”
“The UWC Movement believes that to achieve peace and a sustainable future, the values it promotes are crucial: international and intercultural understanding; celebration of difference; personal responsibility and integrity; mutual responsibility and respect; compassion and service; respect for the environment; a sense of idealism; personal challenge and action and personal example.”
Student Nupur Chatterji has started a group called 'Knit Kare' and there are currently 20 eager students participating in producing squares to send to KAS, and, we have been promised further updates as the project develops. Below is a photograph of these wonderful students!
written by Laurie Fortier (Canada) can be found on the Forum menu bar KasBlog. We have added a new box on the right-hand side of the Forum front page which will alert you to when a new blog is available. Laurie updates the blog very regularly – often twice a week!
The Knit for Life Team
Pam Johnson & Elaine Jones are trying to win £300 ($450) to buy yarn for their teams of ladies to knit squares for KAS! You can help by voting for them every week (I do on a Monday). The competition started on 4th November and runs for 16 weeks. Although Knit for Life hasn't won yet, but we are amongst the most viewed profile – so they are in with a very good chance! To read more go toKnit for Life.
The December 2013 Challenge It's a Red Monthlead by Carol Playford has produced a wide variety of squares incorporating red!
The January Challenge – our Annual Winter Drive is being lead by Anne Powell with the focus being garments. This will give members time to create them and get them in the post so they are received by Ronda ready for the South African Winter Distributions in May and June when the first of the cooler weather arrives!
Please do not forget the Package Inventorydevelped to help make parcel opening day easier for the team in South Africa has proved a great success in speeding up the whole process. Now the team have 'test driven' it for several months, Gina has modified the design so that it truly meets the office needs. The file is below, or, click on the link above in order to read the discussion.
The Granny square is described as any square worked in rounds.
This is the Traditional Granny Square pattern.
No one knows where or when the Granny square originated.
The first published pattern was in 1897 in Weldon’s Practical Needlework. Even then, it was described as a good way to use up scraps and leftover bits of yarn. People were probably already making ‘Granny’ squares but this has been accepted as the first time the pattern was in print.
One theory to the name is that when a woman became older, she was often the one who took the bits and bobs of yarn and made squares and sewed them into blankets.
Thus they were Granny’s squares.
Granny squares for the children in South Africa need to be made with a heavy worsted weight/DK yarn to provide an adequate layer of warmth.
Whether you make one Granny square or 35, the child who receives them will love them
If you see another pattern you would like to try, please do!
OF THE MONTH AWARD
Edited this month by Laurie Fortier
This month the Square Heart Award goes to
This month the Square Heart Award goes to
Jeni Nesbitt from Glasgow, Scotland!
AKA, Harrison's Mom
Jeni has been a devoted member of KAS since 2009.
She started the wonderful Yarn-aholics thread here on the forum which is so therapeutic for all of us
KAS FACEBOOK PAGE
We have received an additional 119 Likes on the Facebook page so far during November-December taking our total to 6575! We also copy the messages etc received on Facebook to the Forum for anyone who is not a member of FB.
There have been a number of landmarks along the way during 2013, especially the arrival of the KasVan via the generosity of G4S, and, KAS was able to move into offices and vacate Ronda's home! Obviously, the recent resignation of Sandy who co-founded KAS and saw it through its first 5-years is another. However, any organisation is only as good as its members and supporters who continue to do everything they can to make a truly practical difference to the lives of the children we serve.
There have been many distributions, all of which touched our hearts, but for 2013, none has probably quite had the visual impact that the USA lead fundraising appeal had on the children of Nancefield.
The Knit-a-Square mandate is to reach children of all races, who have lost parents through HIV/AIDs. Our Forum members and the team in South Africa, plus, the worldwide contributors from 60 countries, come from all cultures, races and religions.
We come together as a team who truly care!
May you all enjoy a peaceful Christmas and a New Year filled with love and happiness!!!!