We invite you to join our warm and friendly KAS community. Together we work hard to help warm and comfort these children and we would greatly value your contribution to this knitting project for the AIDS orphans of southern Africa.
It is estimated that there are 14.8 million orphans in sub-saharan Africa. 1.9 million live in South Africa.
The knit-a-square project was started as a family project in 2008 and although we are now a registered charity under the name of KasCare, our family are still 100 percent involved. Let me introduce us.
The McDonalds, Sandy, Roger, Kalai, and Cressida and Sandy’s, mother, Zanny, are all in Australia.
Ronda Lowrie, Sandy’s aunt and Zanny's sister, and her daughter, Erin, live in South Africa.
Ronda visited The McDonald’s in 2008. She told them of the scale of the disaster facing so many children in South Africa whose lives are greatly compromised by the twin perils of HIV/AIDS and poverty. She explained she often gave out blankets to children as she drove around Johannesburg, and of her frustration—too many children, too few blankets.
Many of these children are AIDS orphans or have been abandoned. Many live in great poverty in shack settlements. Some head up families of their siblings together with other children. Some live alone, without shelter, in hills and dumps around the cities.
In South Africa, they refer to these children as OVC's - orphaned or vulnerable children. While other children's charities work hard to provide food and shelter for them, the McDonalds thought they could provide warmth and comfort.
We came up with the idea of asking the world's knitters and crocheters to send 8"/20 cm squares to South Africa where we would arrange to have them sewn into blankets for the children. So we put up this charity knitting and crochet website in October 2008.
The search engines discovered the site in February 2009. During that year, just over 54,000 squares and more than 4,000 knitted and crochet garments arrived. Now, in early 2011 that number has swelled to more than 170,000 squares, representing over 7,000 blankets and more than 11,000 garments.
From two families at launch, we now have more than 5,000 committed members in 40 countries around the world and a team of wonderful volunteers in South Africa, including Lindiwe and Wandile who work incredibly hard to warm and comfort the children.
Sandy now teaches others how to blog to create online communities to hopefully make a difference to others around the world.
But we need your help more than ever! Our goal for 2012 is to reach half a million squares with an additional 195,000 squares (5,600 blankets), 7,000 hats and 3,000 knitted garments.
We are also a volunteer organisation and would be deeply appreciative for your support. This will help us continue our grassroots movememt to raise awareness of the AIDS orphans' plight, as well as keeping them warm, especially those who are affected by HIV/AIDS.
At it's heart, knit-a-square really is a simple crochet and knitting for charity project. To make and send 8"/20cm squares takes little time, costs little and DOES make a difference. And all while you do what you love - knitting and crocheting.
Spread the word
If you want to make a further difference, your voice can be heard and your ideas will count. Please help us spread the word by LIKING us on our Facebook Group and joining our Square Circle forum.
All our members are chock full of fabulous ideas, free crochet and knitting patterns, challenges and constant discussions about how we can further help the children at a grassroots level.
We have documented hundreds of stories of the women who sew the blankets, the children who receive them and the amazing work that this creative and caring community of knitters and crocheters does for them.
You can also use these free knitting patterns to make a Square Vest, Square Pullover or a hat. Plus we have designed our own KAS GO-OVER™, a large, roomy pullover to keep the children warm, many of whom are often without shelter during the day.
Every square that is sent is used in a blanket to keep an orphan or abandoned child warm.
Ronda with Jamey, a young disabled orphan who received our very first knit-a-square blanket. Phiri Parish, Soweto, Saturday 28 March 2009.
Use your left over yarn scraps, join the knit-a-square crochet and knitting for charity project and your squares will soon be in blankets keeping young children warm.
Your stitches wrap a child in warmth and love.
Introduce knit-a-square to your school community.
The project is simple and accessible and your children will quickly understand that their efforts WILL make a difference, not only in helping keep a child warm, but in raising awareness of this mostly hidden tragedy. This 40 page teacher resource will help you introduce the project into your or your child's school.
The Square Circle ezines and updates are sent out regularly. They are full of photographs and stories of the children and their blankets, the volunteers and the amazing work you do.
You can subscribe here and catch up with the back issues on the same page.
Knit-a-square is a community of caring, generous and kind people who welcome new members in to the friendship of the Square Circle forum and are willing to help with any queries you have. I look forward to meeting you in the there soon. Sandy
Clickety clacks, clackety clicks.
That’s the sound of hurrying sticks
knitting fast and stitching slow
squares for blankets on the go.
Little orphans, do you know
the meaning of these politics?
Give us strength to play these tricks
with yarn and hooks and flying sticks,
that we can make a winter fix.
December 2012 Challenge: Stash Busting During December, we have decided to continue "relaxing" with Plain Jane Squares, with the added features of stash busting, and finishing UFOs (UnFinished Objects).
KAS-CALENDAR 2013 now just $9!
The calendar will work all year to spread the word about the work we are doing for the children of South Africa