Who are we?
THE FULL HISTORY (click here)
We are two families on two continents, separated 26 years ago by circumstances which continue to play out in our benighted country, Zimbabwe.
While we, the McDonalds (Roger, Sandy, Kalai and Cressida) and my mother, Zanny now think of ourselves as Australian and our family, the Lowries (Peter, Ronda, Sian and Erin) as South Africans, our shared history and a committed family background continues to bind us, now even more that we share a common purpose.
Late in 2008, we came up with an idea to make a difference for some of South Africa’s 1.4 million children orphaned or abandoned by the twin perils of HIV/AIDS and poverty.
We would simply go online and ask the world’s knitters/crocheters to make 8″ squares and send them to Ronda in South Africa. She would organise the squares to be assembled into blankets and distributed to children in the shack settlements and creches in Soweto through her parish networks.
We discovered a community of wonderful, caring people online, eager to embrace the idea they could make a difference ‘one square at a time’. Soon it was raining squares in South Africa and by the end of 2009 we had received 57,000 squares and over 4,000 items of clothing. Now it is a deluge!
Initially, here in Australia, we worked our day jobs and did knit-a-square part time. But soon it grew so large, we gave up my paid work and worked either full or part time on KAS. Erin joined Ronda, Peter opened parcels over the weekend, Lindiwe and Wandile came weekly to open and sort the squares in South Africa. Kyla, Anne, Jeanne, Karen, RhondaH and Dawne joined as volunteer moderators of our online groups and our worldwide community of committed contributors just grows and grows.
We realised we needed to create a more formal entity, so we incorporated here in Australia as KasCare. KasCare’s primary mandate was to raise awareness of the plight of these children.
Very early on, schools showed a great interest in knit-a-square. Teaching children to knit (a great skill to learn) and empowering them to make a difference in other children’s lives has proved to be a popular program. So we wrote a Teacher Resource, which is now being further developed into the a full social services school program, KasKids™.
Our goal is to see KasKids™ in 750 schools this year and through the Pledge to Tell Program, ensure that up to half a million people know about the children.