Let’s talk about this: #period #noshame #MenstrualHealthMatters @caitfigueiredo #DignityDreams

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Image via The Guardian

An article in The Guardian states: “When it comes to menstrual hygiene, you would think our society was stuck in the 1950s.” [Caitlin Figueiredo]

Recent research among 2.000 woman in Australia showed that 7 out of 10 felt uncomfortable to talk about their period with male co-workers and only 1 in 3 felt happy to discuss their period with female bosses. 75% of the school girls involved with the research refuse to discuss their period with male teachers and half of them feel reluctant to talk to female teachers about it. [The Guardian]

The same is, of course, true here in South Africa. Menstruation is seen as ‘women’s business’ and discussing it openly is unthinkable. In some cultures, your period is seen as ‘making you unclean’.

The problem is that with this silence, comes ignorance and misinformation. Educating our girls is paramount to cultivating female health and will go a long way to cast light into the shadow of superstition surrounding menstruation.

In an effort to create awareness and to bring about change in the thwarted opinions on menstruation,  Plan International UK and Plan Australia have launched a campaign to introduce a period emoji [The Guardian].

In our own country, organizations like Dignity Dreams are supporting menstrual health education and awareness. Not only do they distribute reusable sanitary pads, but they’ve recently printed a booklet called “My Body No Shame”, which will help girls understand the mechanics of their bodies and prove to them that having your period is no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed.

Your contribution will help Dignity Dreams in their work. If you want to order the booklet (it comes in two sizes: A5 and A6), order sanitary packs for your local school or if you just want to give a donation, please visit their website here.

As Caitlin Figueiredo writes in The Guardian: “If we’re going to make any progress to achieve gender equality, we need to first encourage people to talk about their period and to challenge the idea that there is a “problem” with menstruation and girls’ bodies.

It’s time to stop discriminating against a bodily function that makes humankind a possibility. Let’s say it loud and clear and often: there’s no shame in menstruating.” You can read her article here.

SOURCES:

  1. A period emoji could help girls talk about menstruation. That would be a big deal.  [Web:] The Guardian: bit.ly/2reFLSz
  2. Dignity Dreams on Facebook. 2017. Booklet: My Body No Shame post on 8 Aug.

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Support #TheSweetheartsFoundation and give the gift of movement @wheelchair4love

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How many bottle tops or bread tags does it take to ‘make’ a wheelchair? I suppose you’ve wondered about that, especially since every time you drop some off, it seems like such a small contribution. People have been bringing their tops and tags to me for about two years now and I still don’t have enough for a wheelchair! Thing is, it takes 450kg bottle tops and 50kg bread tags before a wheelchair can be secured. So your little bit really counts; it is all those small boxes and bags of tags and tops that adds up to eventually giving the gift of movement to a disabled person.

Watch the video below to find out more about this initiative.

Don’t stop collecting tops and tags, please and do get in touch if I must collect (only Pretoria, though). Visit their website to find out where to drop off in other areas.

Remember, it is NOT HOW MUCH you give, it is THAT YOU CARE TO GIVE AT ALL!!

A Reminder: #MMM – Massive Mandela Masterpiece

 

You’ve heard about this before, I know, but I am now REMINDING you that time is CRUCIAL!! If you want to get involved in this project, the time is NOW!

Perhaps you will remember our record a few years back, when we laid out blankets, received from far and wide, at Drakenstein Correctional Centre in Paarl. A massive 10 324 blankets covered an area of 17 181 sqm and we slammed the world record. Phew, what a wonderful day that was. You can read the article here.

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Image via SABC News.

Next year, however, we aim to make THE LARGEST PORTRAIT BLANKET IN THE WORLD!!!!! Our #MMM (Massive Madiba Masterpiece).

The idea is to lay out the blanket on 24 April 2018 to mark 24 years of democracy. The residents at Zonderwater Correctional Centre in Cullinan is on board to help us create enough squares and blankets to achieve our goal of 1 764 blankets. This portrait blanket will measure 4 515sqm and special permission has been granted from Correctional Services to photograph it from the air. Can you IMAGINE how amazing that will be?

I’ve also heard whispers that management is trying to convince space authorities to get us a glimpse of this masterpiece from space! So, let’s hope and pray they are successful, because THAT will truly be remarkable.

The blanket will consist of:

964 Grey blankets
480 Black blankets
84 Red blankets
76 Yellow blankets
84 Blue blankets
76 Green blankets

Each blanket must measure exactly 160cm/160cm or, if you are making squares: 20cm/20cm.

You can either knit or crochet, but your measurements MUST be exact, as each blanket will become a  ‘pixel’ in the photograph.

The wool we use is Pullskein DK & Charity DK. The colour codes are as follows:

Light Grey (59) & Silver Grey (011)
Black (01) & Black (017)
Red (13) & Red (136)
Yellow (62) & Bright Yellow (138)
Royal Blue (05) & Royal Blue (008)
Bright Green (63) & Emerald Green (022)

Our Chief Knitwit, Carolyn Steyn encourages us all to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime event. This is your chance to make a difference and DO something that can change the world. She says: “Long live the Knitting Revolution for Madiba!!!! Let’s ROCK this project for the entire world to witness how we are keeping the legacy of our late great father of our nation, Tata Madiba (and the ideals for which he stood) alive with each and every stitch we make with our own two hands.” [Facebook]

So, have you decided yet? Are you going to make a grey blanket or two, or six??? Visit www.67blankets.co.za and pledge your blanket. You can also drop in on our Facebook Page or contact your local ambassador for more info. (Find your local ambassador here.)

Alternatively, complete the contact form below and I will get back to you ASAP.

Keep in mind that you need not do the crocheting or knitting yourself. Many people can’t, but that doesn’t mean you cannot pledge a blanket or squares. You can sponsor someone (a friend, family member, lady at your local old age home) by purchasing the wool and having her or him do the work. You can ALSO just donate the needed wool and drop it off at your local ambassador.

Come on, people, let’s DO this!

 

SOURCES:

67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela (South Africa). 2017. Posted by: Carolyn Steyn on Facebook. THE LARGEST PORTRAIT BLANKET IN THE WORLD!!!!! [Web:] bit.ly/2vFhkjr

SABC News. 2016. Article by: Lebo Tshangela. 67 Blankets founder ‘euphoric’ after setting Guinness World Record. [Web:] bit.ly/2w9V9Uw

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Remember those #bottletops and #breadtags!! @wheelchair4love #SweetheartsFoundation #SouthAfrica

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Are you still collecting those bottletops and breadtags I asked about a while ago?

REMEMBER, it is for a good cause. You may think that your little collection of tops or tags doesn’t make any difference, but it SO does. Recently I picked up breadtags from a lady that has been collecting it for 13 years. What did she hand me? Not a huge box filled with tags, neither a black refuse bag, no, she gave me an ordinary shopping bag, half-filled filled tags. The point is NOT that you give us a truckload of tops and tags, the point is that you actually make an effort to  help at all. Every little bit counts.

And this is what your ‘little bit’ eventually did:

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If you have tags or tops ready for collection or if you need more info, please complete the contact form below and I will be in touch.

Visit the Sweethearts Foundation here.

Time for some #GoodWool inspiration: #Crochet #PatchworkBlanket @67Blankets #YesWeWool #WarmTheWorld

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Having done our share of scarves for #SSS2017, it is once again time to dive into your yarn stash and page through your patterns for inspiration to create beautiful blankets for our cause. While we are still busy handing out blankets, we need to keep in mind that the need is ever increasing.

Every time I talk to one of my facilities, they inquire about 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day​. The problem is that, while the demand is enormous, the supply is forever dwindling. We have many hands creating squares and blankets, but it never seems to be enough.

You can change that!! If you would like to get involved or know of anyone who can become part of this movement, please get in touch with one of our ambassadors. You can find their details here: http://www.67blankets.co.za. Alternatively, you can complete the contact form below and I will be in touch ASAP.

REMEMBER: not being able to knit or crochet doesn’t mean you can’t support those who can. Why not sponsor an elderly lady or a friend by purchasing wool or visit your local school and have a chat with their teachers. Perhaps you will be able to inspire them to get their learners involved. You can sponsor those kids by supplying wool and needles. There are plenty ways for you to become part of 67 Blankets.

But in the meantime, dear knitwits, I share this gorgeous crochet patchwork blanket in Rowan Cocoon with you. (Via LoveCrochet) You can find the pattern here: goo.gl/7zp1Ap.

May the yarn be with you!! #GoodWool rules!

Please complete the contact form if you wish to get involved with 67 Blankets for Nelson  Mandela Day.

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@67Blankets for Nelson Mandela #PretoriaKnitwits warm #PretoriaResidents – #RekordNoord #SSS2017 #YesWeWool

Article photo in Rekord North

Image via Rekord Noord: by Corlia Kruger

You may very well remember that the Pretoria branch of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day did their bit of ‘warming the nation’ on Thursday, 13 July 2017.

We managed to gather at three different ‘hotspots’ across the city and decorated trees, fences, lampposts and more with bright and beautiful scarves.

The project was kept a secret until the day and is aptly called the ‘Secret Scarf Shhh…-mission’ or #SSS. The teams gathered in Sinoville, Mabopane and Hazeldean to do their thing and around 160 scarves were handed out to residents.

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Thanks to generous donations from Vaheeda Hassan (Sinoville Fabrics) and Adri de Swardt from Zambesi Retirement Village, our local knitwits (Zambesi Retirement Village, Thlokomelang Community Centre) were able to create the most wonderful scarves in vibrant colours to share with the cold and lonely in our community.

You can read the article in Rekord Noord here.

If you would like to be part of this amazing initiative or if you can contribute to our cause by donating wool or funds for wool purchases, please complete the contact form below and we will be in touch. Note that ‘scrap wool’, left over from your own projects is more than welcome. Let us know if you have some.

For more information, visit 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela’s website.

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What are you giving on #MandelaDay2017?

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Tomorrow we celebrate Mandela Day. We remember the remarkable life of a true ‘father of a nation’, our dear Madiba. Despite his passing away, his legacy will live forever in our hearts. A legacy of justice, respect, love, giving, caring, acceptance, decency and gratitude. Quite a mouthful of virtues, but the truth. Always an advocate for the destitute, he set an example for his fellow South Africans and, as indeed for the entire world.

Through him we learned that by reaching out in humility to those in need, even a simple act of  kindness can bring about global change. Whether you touch the life of one or a multitude of lives, it doesn’t matter. The point is, to humbly give, without judgement and prejudice, with love and kindness.

What are you doing this Mandela Day?

If you have NO idea how to be part of the giving spirit tomorrow, allow me to share some ideas.

  • Support The Sweethearts Foundation by collecting 67 bottle tops and tags or spend 67 minutes collecting bottle tops and tags. Visit them here: www.sweetheartsfoundation.org to find your local drop off point.
  • Donate wool to 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day, giving our knitwits the means to create blankets, scarves and beanies for those who need something warm during the cold winter months. Find your local ambassador here: www.67blankets.co.za.
  • Purchase a Dignity Pack from Dignity Dreams and help a girl stay in school, despite having her monthly menstruation cycle. Buy one online here.
  • Start filling a shoebox with items needed to bring some joy to a child over the festive season in support of the Santa Shoebox Project. You can pledge your box in September and take it to your local drop-off in October. Find out more about this initiative here.
  • Donate clothes, linen, books, educational supplies, food, blankets, etc to our organization. We will ensure distribution to those whom we support, which includes around 84 facilities in South Africa. (Complete the contact form below.)

Still not sure how to be part of Mandela Day? Well, here are some more ideas:

  • Find an old age home in your community and drop in during the day. Take some snacks if you like. I’m sure some of the elderly will appreciate your company.
  • Know of a needy daycare centre in your area? Pay them a visit and take some sweets for the children. Sit down with them and read a book or play with them for a while.
  • If you know a family in your community is having a tough time making ends meet, why not prepare a meal and drop it off at their house tomorrow?
  • Stop at the robot for a minute and give the beggar in the street a loaf of bread or a sandwich.
  • Give the car guard in the parking lot something to eat and drink.

Remember, it is not WHAT you give, but HOW you give. Give with a spirit of gratitude for the blessings you have received. Give without expecting anything in return.

If you would like to donate to our organization (or need more information on any of the other organizations mentioned above), please complete the contact form below and we will be in touch.

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