We all take risks to help the children

There has been a long discussion under Kas Inquiries and the UK group
regarding timely notification of the arrival of your post in South
Africa and in response to my request for your trust in this matter in
the last ezine.

As it is such an important issue I am copying in excerpts from my response.

Many of you have some very fine suggestions [about ways to expedite recording of the post and informing you of its arrival] and with your tolerance, I will ask that you wait until we have met with
Ronda, Lindiwe and Wandile and experienced the actual process of
collecting and opening those parcels before agreeing to any of them. It
is possible that some suggestions while good in theory could actually
add to the work load. Once we have done a full anaylsis of the process
and what can be done to improve it, then I will report back in full and
we can see how to go about implementing the ideas.

We very much need a manager on the ground in South Africa to co-ordinate KAS as a
volunteer organisation. Even if people are unpaid volunteers, they
still need to be organised, trained, fed (and in South Africa
transported). Think about yourself as volunteers which you are (and
wonderful volunteers too) and the enormous amount of work it has taken
to martial you all, correctly inform you (sometimes with errors
admittedly), follow up, discuss, grow the community in terms of running
two websites, communications, ezines, events, appeals etc.

The truth is that we have come this far on the back of a dedication to work
for these children. Now we need funds to take it to the next level. We
are deeply grateful for the regular donations we now receive. They are
sufficient to help cover the operating expense which before were
covered from personal funds but not yet sufficient to cover 'manning'
the operation. Until that is achieved, then I hope that everyone will
continue to be patient and assess their risks at not knowing whether
their parcels have arrived as a small one in the face of what we are
actually achieving for the children.

Below is a photograph which I received on Monday of the post in Ronda's lounge. It will give you
some idea of the volume that Ronda and her team are working through,
bearing in mind that Lindiwe and Erin are only with her one day a week.
Let me say emphatically that Ronda is not daunted by this task. She is
DELIGHTED (as we all are) with the response as her first and foremost
goal is to work for and with the children.

While it is pretty overwhelming, she trusts implicitly that we will ALL work through ways
in which we can adequately resource this to more quickly expedite the
sorting, bundling and sewing of the blankets.

What would greatly upset her is the notion that we have been seen in anyway to let you
down. We believe and have been told many times that what makes KAS
different is the level of transparency we bring to our communications
with you.

Another more important perspective
If we were to agree that we all working together to make a difference in
AID'S orphans lives and that this is a team effort, could we not also
agree that we ALL risk something in order to make a difference in these
children's lives? Your risk is trusting that the money, effort and time
you spend in making squares/items WILL result in warming a child. Our
risk is the considerable unpaid time we spend to ensure that that
happens. In short, are we not all in this together?

We are reassured that all your parcels arrive with perhaps an acceptable
percentage going astray (the USA postal system admits to a 5% loss in
their system). So believing that, we feel we can ask you, what made you
want to knit and send squares for this cause? I believe you want very
much to help these children.

Can we not all resolve then, that that is far more important than knowing exactly when your parcel has
safely arrived? I am not suggesting that it is not important, but I do
ask you again for your trust and that you allow us some latitude in how
it is done and when.

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Comment by Claudia Ferriday on March 15, 2010 at 12:10am
Sorry I have been "out of the loop" for the past week - long hours at work!

I am so glad that some very good ideas have come out of all of our discussions at the beginning of the month... Of course, we all want to help in whichever way we can and at the end of the day the aim is to keep the children warm! One way to better achieve this aim is lightening Ronda's (and her team's) burden in South Africa, and perhaps some of the suggestions made on the Forum will be workable ! It is also great news that we now have a fundraising group!

Sandy, I hope you have a good and safe trip to Jo'burg and we hope to hear from you soon! I am sure you will have exciting news!

With all good wishes

Comment by valerie sotiropoulos on March 11, 2010 at 12:05am
I just think that KAS is amazing and our parcels must be arriving there look at all the parcels in the photos! We just have to be patient! and just carry on making beautiful things for all these little angels! And watch how the KAS vision is blossoming and how God is blessing this wonderful ministry that we are all blessed to be part of.
Comment by Sandy McDonald on March 10, 2010 at 10:10am
Thank you all for the confirmation that our hearts remain with the children and for your kind words of support.

There has been some extraordinary energy borne out of the discussion ' Are our Squares Arriving in Africa?' on which this post was based. The best is the fund-raising group Sylvia has started. It is just full of ideas. I so hope you will all join.
Comment by Mary Kristel Lokken on March 10, 2010 at 5:04am
I just saw this post - I agree with what everyone has already written. I hope that whatever changes are made will only lessen the work on the ground in South Africa, not increase it for Ronda and her team. We appreciate you so much.... thank you for all you do!
Comment by Rebecca "Becka" Westcott on March 9, 2010 at 10:46am
I totally support that the most important thing is getting the squares distributed, put together and then distributed to the children. I cannot imagine the magnitude of those tasks alone. I also do not check the "arrivals" list, also too busy. I am just very thankful to all of you who are continuing to do the "hard part" of completing our mission among the orphans of Africa. Blessings, Becka
Comment by Pam Johnson on March 9, 2010 at 9:39am
While it is of course a joy and an encouragement to know that "your" parcel has arrived I personally just trust that it will. I don't check the lists of arrivals - too busy - and if some go astray I trust that they will just be used to keep someone else warm. Those on the ground in SA must do what they think best and of course direct their efforts to getting the squares etc to where they are needed most. Pictures are always a joy and proof enough I think that our work is getting there and keeping children warm. I know all too well the pressure that can arise when a small project grows - terribly exciting but it brings its own problems. You are all doing a wonderful job and heartfelt thanks goes to you all for all that you do.
Comment by Elaine Jones on March 9, 2010 at 6:00am
Sandy, as you will know I added my two-pennyworth on the UK forum and felt that Claudia's idea for cataloguing the parcels may well have merit IF it saves Ronda and her team time and stress! But it's just one idea which may or may not work for Ronda. Let me say for the record, however, that I have never been concerned that my parcels don't reach their destination and rarely check the lists. I just trust that they arrive and their contents are making a difference to a small deserving life. Please reassure Ronda that absolutely no criticism of her efforts was intended - we all know that she is doing a Herculean task and doing it well. This simple idea for making a few blanket squares has grown so fast it's inevitable that some of the processes that worked in the beginning will have to change and evolve. Evolution takes time so we must be patient and continue to focus on what really matters.
Comment by jacqueline sousa on March 9, 2010 at 1:13am
two thumbs up dawne
i would add but you have said it all
Comment by Dawne Smith-Sliming on March 7, 2010 at 3:54pm
I want you to know that I agree whole heartedly that we are all in this together. Most importantly I would urge you and Ronda to make the decisions that lessen the workload, not add to it. It's always good to hear that our parcels have arrived, sure, but it is more important (in my humble opinion) that we have sent them. The focus, IMO, needs to stay on the children. If we have a to wait a few weeks, or even a few months, to know that our parcels have arrived what is that compared to how long these children have waited? They are waiting for a secure, loving home. They are waiting for food and education; healthcare and yes - warmth. Their struggle, the burden on their tiny shoulders is where my focus is and will remain.

Without proper funding KAS and KAScare cannot do all of the important things we want to do. Once funding is secured we can get Ronda the help she so richly deserves. As with anything worth doing KAS will continue onward and weather a few bumps in the road. It is our commitment to the goal that will get us there. We've got to keep our eye on the prize(s) - the children.


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