On Friday October 25, Athele loaded up her little blue car with the help and Mandy and got ready to drive to Pietermaritzburg, Kua Zulu-Natal 499 KM/320 miles,  to the southeast of Randburg where the KAS Barn is located.  Her fiance joined her on this trip to distribute 85 blankets to the children there.

This trip was sponsored by various members of the Forum from different parts of the world.  

Please enjoy these moving photographs and be sure to check back to this discussion as new photos will be posted as they are made available.  Athele and Estelle have done a remarkable job matching most blankets with the crafters that made the squares.

Athele writes:

What a joy and privilege it was to give gifts of love through 85 hand-made blankets comprising over 3000 squares and tens of thousands of stitches, beanies, handwarmers and soft cuddly toys to the truly impoverished children of the Ezinketeni informal settlement, on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg.
Indebted to the kind hands that sent it all to Knit A Square SA, from thousands of caring hearts in over 70 countries around the globe.
Especial thanks to Ronda Lowery, creator of the amazing platform for caring and our tireless inspirational leader still today, Sandra Pillay who made it possible for us to reach these children, Solomon her amazing helper who gathered the most needy children one by one and who put together a most touching presentation for us, with the most glorious singing from 90 voices filled with praise and gratitude and a few songs sung by their wonderful little choir. Wish I could share those videos too. Need to find a way ... help someone? So moving and such incredible singing, made me so proud to be part of a nation that can sing 
There was so much joy, the children were so patient. I do hope the pics I will be adding of every single child and what they received, do justice to the happiness they each felt. It’s extremely likely that all or most of the children got their own cuddly toy for the first time in their lives. Even the biggest boys wanted one. That tells you everything.

Typical housing for the area.  Most do not have running water or electricity.

Sandra’s outreach new home ... just landed a week ago in this permanent position. From here Sandra and her amazing team feed children every morning before school and have open to the community a crèche, fun by a lovely lady, Montessori trained by Sandra’s outreach.

Sandra and Solomon in the middle.  The two young men are have Forum member Diana D to thank for their schooling. They live in the area and were there for this distribution.

Our beautiful Athele with the gentlemen.

Cath Riley's 500 blanket quickly made to to this distribution.

The squirrel square is from Susanne Leaverton.

This blanket is from Valerie Zalewski in France.

One of Jude Sullivan's many teddy squares.

Jude Sullivan's traffic lights.

Grannies by Penny Brannan.

Cars by Fleur Downers.

After the distribution it was a color rainbow going down the dirt road as the children headed home.

“In our society the most admired men are those who build bridges, skyscrapers, and empires. But in reality, the proudest and most admirable are those who manage to build love. Because there is no greater or more difficult undertaking.”

Joël Dicker
The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair

Be sure to check back soon for more photos.

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Amy, thank you so very much for sharing this with us.  What a heartwarming report and the photos say it all!

I had a lovely note from Sandra in which she says:

... I wish you could have been with us to see the excitement and heart-warm smiles as each child came forward to receive their KAS gifts.  These children are mostly orphaned and/or neglected and are living with aged Grandmothers or other care givers.  This would more than likely be the only gifts they would receive for Christmas or ever!   

... Those blankets, beanies and handwarmers were made with so much love – you could feel it oozing out as we handed out the items to the children. 

Please convey our sincere thanks to everyone at KAS!

Thank you so very much for this terrific, and very moving, account of a distribution.    I smiled and wept my way through the pictures.   What a difference we can make. ❤️

Beautiful. Just beautiful. 

Thank you so much Athele for reaching out to these needy children and sharing the ’KAS love’ with them.

Individual Photos from Athele.

Blanket most likely from Knit for Life in the UK.

Another Knit for Life blanket.

A blanket from Croatia, and the parrot from Linda Maltby in Canada.

Another beautiful blanket from Croatia.

The bounty from Croatia continues...

...even more.

This is one of the young men that Diana D. supports for education.  He is pictured earlier in this discussion.

A Knit for Life creation for a big sister and her little brother.

From Athele:

Sandra and her amazing team kindly added to the whole feel good morning by giving each child a much appreciated sandwich and cup of juice. For many it will be all they get until a bowl of porridge (traditional pap) for supper.

I love this new fashion for holding the blankets up as a backdrop for the recipient. What a great way to show off such beautiful blankets and beautiful children. xx

Harrison's mom, I second you. And a 500km drive to make those needy children happy, Athelé and your team, you have so much love for the children, thank you so much for having done this big job.

Well done Athele and Co for travelling so far to bring comfort and smiles to the children of Pietermaritzburg. Lovely to hear news of Sandra Pillay and the hard working Solomon!

Here are a few more photos of delighted children receiving their warm blankets, hats, handwarmers [and in some cases a pair of socks] as well as stuffed toys.

Thank you so much - these pictures are a delight, especially so as I see healthy children with large smiles..........and some of my handwarmers!



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