Mar 29, 2010

Knitting For Africa

Knitting for others, especially those I’ve never met, can be a tricky thing. As I set up new knitting challenges for myself, I think first about who I’ll be knitting for. Hats make sense for colder climates in the United States, but as I continue on my quest to knit ten thousand items for charity, one goal I have is to expand my knitting towards giving to other countries.

Like many people I know, my heart is drawn to Africa – the immense suffering heaped upon many of its’ residents due to centuries of abuse, slavery and dictatorships has left millions living in the lowest depths of poverty and dying of diseases we give our infants shots for without thinking twice. {And yes, I know this is an over-simplified description.}

I find myself drawn over and over to knit for the people of Africa, and yet it seems out of reach for hand-knits. When I think of Africa I think of desert, of warmth and sun; I rarely think of a need for something hand-knit.  

In reality, there are large portions of Africa with temperatures that dip low (below freezing!) during harsh winter evenings, leaving the door wide open for hand-knits to be given.

Researching organizations that donate hand-knits to Africa brought another huge round of questions. It would seem there aren’t many currently operating, at least not many my Google search could find!

What I did find did not surprise me – organizations that are collecting squares to be sewn into blankets. If you have a heart for Africa, consider donating to one of these three organizations – all three collect simple knit/crochet squares – an item even the most beginner of beginner crafters can make in an afternoon. Each organization works in a different region of Africa. Each organization helps orphans and the poorest of the poor.

 Ghana Project – acrylic knit/crochet squares are sewn together into blankets for children undergoing surgery in Ghana.

Knitting 4 Charity - South African winter temps dip below zero in the evenings!!!

Knit A Square - accepting squares (their goal is 105,000 this year!) and knitted items for orphans in South Africa

One of my Life Goals is to knit 200 squares for charity; I think these squares will definitely go to one of these three charities. And I will be on the lookout for ways to donate vests, sweaters and more in the future, not to mention hats!

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