Creative crafting and caring go hand in hand

All over the world, creative and compassionate crafters—knitters, crocheters, and stitchers—are looking for ways in which they can make their craft really matter.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) estimates that there are 25 million children orphaned or made vulnerable by a combination of losing parents to HIV AIDS, poverty, stigma and government inaction. About 85 percent of these children live in southern Africa.

In addition, every year, hundreds of thousands of children are exposed to natural disaster, war, and pandemic disease.

Global agencies do a remarkable job, often with stretched resources, to house and feed these children, sometimes in very difficult circumstances.

The crafters of the world can do a different job. They can provide warmth, comfort and support.

We can also all look to creative endeavour to figure out innovative ways in which we can help educate, stimulate and inspire hope in the children and their carers.

CreateCare Global works to facilitate these solutions at the intersection of creative endeavour, hope and awareness.

Knit-a-square

We started this work with our primary project Knit-a-square.com (KAS), co-founded with Knit-a-square South Africa.

The idea was simple. Ask the world’s knitters to knit and send squares to our South African office where our volunteer community they could sort and sew them into blankets, for distribution to orphaned children.

KAS has had remarkable success in the eight years since it’s inception. It very quickly garnered a dedicated and passionate community of over 15,000 crafters, in 60 countries. To date they have sent over a million squares, hats and jumpers to KAS South Africa.

Inspired by this work, Dianne Jones who lives in Turkey has created a knit-a-square style project, Love in the Language of Yarn (LILY). They have supplied over 16,000 hand made blankets to Syrian refugee children.

We have been made aware of dozens of similar responses all over the world, including Brazil.

To participate in the Knit-a-square program, visit http://www.knit-a-square.com for details.

KasKidsTM

The success of CreateCare Global’s primary program, knit-a-square, made us understand that while the crisis seemed insurmountable, there is an army of people around the world desperate to help.

We developed KasKidsTM as a global community concept for school aged children, so they had the means to take action on behalf of these children through creative endeavour.

‘I well believe that this will be looked back on as the sin of our generation and our children, 40-50 years from now will ask, what did you do while 40 million people became orphaned in Africa.’ Richard E Stearns USA World President, World Vision.

Schools are encouraged to become KasKids schools, by demonstrating a commitment to develop their students as global citizens, through action and raising awareness of the issues – disease, poverty, stigma, war and travesty – that create the circumstances in which children are made orphaned or vulnerable.

Kaskids has a framework that can be applied at all ages. The current program overview is about sharing, giving, learning and doing, through it’s Ambassador Program, Pledge to Tell awareness raising program or through a number of creative programs including Knit-a-square, KasFilms, KasBooks and Pack-a-patch.

‘Our entire fifth grade has learned how to knit with the help of some fabulous parent volunteers…Our goal is to be able to send well over 300 squares by May from our fifth grade students. I wanted you to know how much the children in our classes have been affected by hearing about the children you help. Thank you for making a difference and helping our kids to see that there are children just like them who need assistance. I think that what they feel and learn from doing this will be so fulfilling.”

Kristen Gryskevich, Teacher, Brownsburg, Indiana

For a small donation of $12.95, you can download the KasKids Teacher Guide .  The Student guide is available for you to download here.

Please note: The KasKids Program is currently being updated and improved. We will contact you to replace your kit, once the new program is launched in November, 2015.

KasEldersTM

We have heard from carers of the elderly all over the world that there is peace and fulfilment for many of those they care for in the simple act of knitting a square. Their residents can involve their family and friends in helping purchase yarn and pay for postage as their contribution.

We encourage carers of the aged to introduce knit-a-square as a means by which the elderly can continue to contribute to, and care for, these desperate children.

To find out more, visit www.knit-a-square.com.