Nothing beats a warm blanket, cuddly jersey and a knitted beanie in the winter months.
Thanks to some very talented knitters the children of the Shiyabazali informal settlement in Howick will be able to wrap up warm as the temperatures fall. The items have been distributed to the children by the staff at Angels’ Care Centre in Morling Street.
“So far all our blankets, beanies and gloves have come from an NGO called Knit a Square,” said spokesperson Georgie Purdon, “and then just individuals from the Ambers who knit them for us and people who have had clean-outs or just brought items and dropped them off. Howick High School also collected items for us and donated them. We urge people to have a winter clean out and drop off any items that can help us keep these families and their incredible children warm.”
Angels’ Care has also continued to feed children in the informal settlement six days a week, a service they provided before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. “In these very difficult and trying times we have more children and families than we have ever had before, needing our assistance,” Purdon explained.
Our six-day nutritional programmes are under strain as we just can’t keep up with the demand of families in need. Our school applications are overflowing with children that need sponsorship assistance to receive a quality education with us.
“And our youth development, after school programme has become more demanding with more children needing homework assistance, food and time spent with people who want to help them.”
Purdon said the health and crisis care centre is also tending to many woman and children in need and many in the community are in need of hygiene and care packs.
Angels’ Care is looking for volunteers willing to help the children with homework, to donate towards the care packages and nutritional programmes and to help the staff make up these packages so they can be handed out when they’re needed.
“Together we can change one life at a time and eventually bring about constructive change to our community and hopefully our nation one day,” Purdon said.
“All it takes is kindness, understanding and the drive to want to make a difference. Together we can bring change, joy, warmth and of course more love into the world in a time that so many so badly need it.”
The children and their dogs, who take part in the Funda Nenja dog training programme in Mpophomeni township, near Howick, are all feeling warmer thanks to donations from the Stitch & Bitch charity project and Beanies for Beings.
Funda Nenja was able to give every child, registered with the programme, a handmade blanket, beanie, handwarmers, scarves and a jersey or poncho to ward off the winter cold.
Knitted items were also given to pupils at organisation’s host school, Sifisesihle Primary.
The four-legged members of the training programme weren’t forgotten, with every dog fitted with a cosy knitted jacket and given a warm blanket.
Funda Nenja said in a statement: “Some of the dogs paraded around feeling very special in their beautiful new attire, while others took a little longer to get used to this totally new experience for them.
“Huge thanks to the Stitch & Bitch Charity Project and Louise Geldenhuys for this amazing donation of winter warmth goodies.”
Every Friday, Funda Nenja holds classes, which are structured to use dog training skills to impact on the psycho-social development of the children by improving self-confidence, a sense of worth and self-discipline.
The training sessions also help the participants to develop respect and compassion for all living things by promoting a bond between child and dog.