The first weekend in September, Athele went to Pietermaritzburg, about 500 KM from Randburg to make of distribution of 110  blankets with extra goodies for the children.

There will be comments from Athele's Facebook page about this distribution among the many photos.  There will also be some videos, and possible disturbing photos of the living conditions in the JikaJoe Settlement where the distribution took place.

Please note that there is no running water, no direct running electricity, no sewer system, no garbage collection and this settlement lack most of what the rest of the world considers normal living conditions.

While the children looked well dress, they are wearing the best of the best of their belongings.

Pietermaritzburg is considered one the least safest cities in the world and we cannot express enough gratitude for Athele to make this distribution on behalf of Knit A Square.

Just distributed 115 blankets, plus 101 toys and beanies to the exceptionally vulnerable children of JikaJoe squatter camp on the edge of town as well as 80 items for the most vulnerable new born babies at the local government hospital, who otherwise risk going home wrapped in newspaper. More pictures to follow but for now let me tell you that was brutal. In every way. Including of course running out of items long before we ran out of children in need. Always heartbreaking. Especially when it’s a cluster of little ones who’ve walked for more than an hour to get to me. I’m going to have to get back here. Simple as that. Anyone fancy helping with funding travel costs we’d be super grateful. As grateful as we are to the contributors from more than 70 countries around the world who give so generously, to the incredible councilor for the DA Sureya who helped set it up and organized security for a walk around in the camp and my darling wonderful friend Sandra Pillay who makes it all happen all the time for so many vulnerable children, often fueled by her love for Christ and faith in the miracles He brings.

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Thank You so much for your hard work on the ground -- getting the blankets/toys/etc to the children who really, really need them, and getting the pictures to us.

It sounds like having the KAS Little Blue Bird does bring a tiny bit of excitement and warmth to their lives, and maybe also causes others to come through with food, for one day at least.   That doesn't solve the background problems, but it helps fill empty bellies for one day at least.

I'm clicking the Donate button for an extra contribution right now, so that you can make a return trip or two as needed.

Again, Thank you.

How do I tell people they can support a distribution like this?  I see Athele asking for financial support to get back there, but I do not know how the people on the FB page can make that support?  Do I just direct them to the PayPal donations link, or is there something in the shop, like get the motor running?

People can make a donation to KAS through the DONATION  button on this page.  There is a chance to specify where you would like the money to be spent.

Based on the KAS Charter this is the only way to send funds to KAS.

Thanks for asking.

Thanks. - I did not know if there was something in the shop that would support it.  I will let folks know.

Tragic news from September 24.  Athele write:

Tragic news in from JikaJoe Informal Settlement in Pietermaritzburg late yesterday. Another devastating fire, destroying what precious little these desperate folk had managed to scrape together. It’s said it’s the worst fire they’ve ever had. 500 people left homeless.
Gutted to hear this, especially as the big delivery we’d set up for Saturday has been delayed by a week. Wondering too how many of the blankets and beanies and toys we gave out earlier this month went up in smoke.
In the middle of these sad pictures of the drama unfolding, is one of the latest blankets I’ve just finished sewing together ... bound for JikaJoe. Can’t get there fast enough by all accounts. Hopefully locals will step up again and give them basic warmth so that when KnitASquare goodies arrive next Saturday they will just be needed to provide some comfort.

It’s absolutely heart breaking, these poor folk have enough to deal with without this tragedy too. I hope no one was hurt.

I hope the blanket room has enough blankets etc for Athele to take as many as possible, but I guess she is limited by the size of her car. Could there be more than one visit? Is it too far for the volunteers and the KAS van? 

Amy this is AWFUL. I did a donation today for distributions. I'm crossing paws that enough completed blankets have made their way to you for distribution.

Oh goodness me - talk about it never rains but it pours!  On top of everything else these poor children have to deal with, this must have been terrifying for them - and their parents, too, of course!

So sad to see the remains of the fire. Those poor people! I can't imagine how heartbreaking this would be. Even if a fire consumed my home we have insurance to replace things, these people have nothing. I do hope the KAS Van can visit again soon and supply some more blankets, I am sure they are going to be desperately needed.

This is heartbraking. What a disaster and so very sad. I have so much respect for you Athelé, that you will go back to distribute blankets. Thank you so much for what you do for these needy families. I made a donation, that's all I can do to make the KAS distributions possible. xo



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