The three month old baby girl lying in the corner, lay listless. I stroked her perfect, tiny hand and with the little energy she had left, a smile flickered at the corner of her mouth.
In less than a month, these babies will still sleep on this same floor, a piece of old linoleum laid on the bare African soil. But the temperatures will have dropped and will continue to do so for winter in Soweto. I took this photograph yesterday, 30 March, 2010.
Scattered throughout Soweto, and all the informal settlements, are hundreds and hundreds of small creches like this fashioned out of whatever comes to hand, old window frames with no glass, stained carpet pieces, plywood, corrugated iron.
Our work is to get to as many as we can to wrap warm blankets around these babies and children, many of who are affected or infected by HIV/AIDS and most of who have lost or are losing their parents.
The squares are arriving abundantly. But we have outgrown our limited resources. We need a manager on the ground in South Africa. Someone who will organise DAILY, the sewing groups and distributions, who is familiar with the informal settlements and can source the networks to find these thousands of children. Ronda will always be involved in knit-a-square, but this is now an organisational role beyond that of the organic spread of volunteers; our wonderful family, their friends, church groups and our truly remarkable Sowetan volunteers.
We are serious about putting blankets around these children. About bringing joy to their sad eyes. About telling the world of their plight.
We know you are serious about sending us the knitted and crocheted squares to do this. But now we must ask you to help us further.
A membership concept to achieve our goal
We need to raise a minimum, to start, of $3000 a month to incorporate in South Africa, hire a part-time manager and some additional facilities outside of Ronda’s home and to achieve our common purpose in South Africa.
That is $3US a month from 1,000 of our 3,500 plus members. We would like to suggest that it becomes a membership fee, because that way you own what we are doing here as much as we all do. $36 per year is a small fee to pay to know that we are ALL achieving what we set out to do.
Our hope is to find a young enthusiastic and energetic South African who will, among other things, fund-raise here to cover other organizational costs. But we must have funds to do this.
PLEASE, respond to this plea. We need your help desperately. You can organize a recurring donation HERE (in the right hand column.
These children, and thousands like them, rely on us now to keep them warm through the glass-less windows this winter and for years to come.
Thank you for reading and considering this solution. We will be humbled by your response, but excited to know that we can go forward and warm our children.
Peace be with you this Easter, with love, Sandy
PS. We have made great progress opening squares over this week, Canada, Australia, half of the UK and South Africa. But the “wall” of the USA remains and we will tackle that on our return from CapeTown after Easter.