KnitWits for Madiba

A statue of Nelson Mandela surrounded by blankets. Photo: Supplied

KnitWits will gather for a family Hook-up Day hosted by 67 Blankets on 23 April.

The event is from 9am to 4pm and is a call for all across the country to spread their blankets around various statues of Nelson Mandela.

This is to act as a colourful reminder of Tata Madiba’s legacy. These blankets will then be handed over and distributed to the needy.

67 Blankets stretches all the way to Washington DC. Photo: Supplied

Founded about three years ago, by Carolyn Steyn, the NPO has grown from 67 blankets to 670 blankets, to a world record breaking 27 000 blankets all donated to those in need.

In the process, 67 Blankets has claimed the Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Crochet Blanket in the World’ in 2015.

India made a bid for the title and briefly took it out of South Africa’s hands, but then won it again in 2016 with a blanket measuring over 17 000 square metres.

Throughout the year people from all walks of life, including prisoners and school goers pour care and compassion into their knitting, stitching the country together one stitch at a time.

Sixty-seven Blankets has grown into an international movement, with KnitWits in many countries donating blankets in the name of Madiba.

The Union Buildings’ grounds in Pretoria are made colourful with hundreds of blankets. Photo: Supplied

In partnership with the Department of Correctional Services, 67 Blankets started the ‘Knitting Broken Lives and our Nation Together’ initiative that gives inmates an opportunity to give back to communities who have been affected by crime and poverty.

Knitting and crocheting blankets have given thousands of inmates, both men and women, a sense of industry and purpose assisting them in their rehabilitation and providing skills development behind bars.

“Sixty-seven Blankets has changed my life – and many lives. It has become my raison d’être.

What I have learnt over the past three years is the importance of alliance, partnership, friendship and relationships embodying trust, respect, kindness and common purpose.

None of what we have collectively achieved would have been remotely possible without these elements and together we have achieved some great things,” said Steyn “So make a blanket for someone less fortunate. Madiba did say, “It is in your hands now.” And we are listening to him with every stitch we make,” she concluded.

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