| Mother's Day Campaign for Afghan Mothers
Update as of June 16, 2007
The Mother's Day campaign is now completed. Thank you very much for participating. Please check our guidelines page for current campaign needs and due dates. We welcome your involvement.
Dear Knitters and Crocheters for Afghanistan,
Our Mother's Day Campaign is a tribute to the mothers of Afghanistan.
Extended US due date: May 25
For more than 5 years, we have learned about the unimaginably difficult lives of women in Afghanistan and the high mortality rate among babies and young children. Our current campaign focuses on supporting mothers and their youngest children through our handknit and crocheted gifts.
Our handiwork will be distributed by Afghans 4 Tomorrow, which is building a new health clinic in Wardak province. The well is being drilled now, and the clinic is expected to open in June. We'll be knitting and crocheting blankets and garments that will be distributed to the women who visit the clinic for pre-natal and other health services. Such medical services are rare across Afghanistan. Most people do not have access to medical care.
Some of our handmade gifts (baby blankets and hats) will be included in new mother kits filled with other essentials (provided by other donors) to increase survival rates. The mothers will also receive blankets and garments to take back home for their other young children in their households. Afghan families have many children.
Afghans 4 Tomorrow is the same organization that handled our two major collections last year. Afghans 4 Tomorrow is an experienced US-based non-profit organization with offices and relief and development projects in Afghanistan. Afghans 4 Tomorrow has been distributing material supplies to the people of Afghanistan for many years. They have trained, capable personnel on the ground. Their US leadership travels overseas periodically to monitor and evaluate needs and progress. (Marsha MacColl, on the board of Afghans 4 Tomorrow, recently returned from Kabul, where she delivered our socks to students.)
Afghans 4 Tomorrow has asked us to supply:
* Baby blankets (in a dense stitch; not lacy; minimum dimensions of 40" x 40") * Caps for newborns and infants (caps need to cover the ears; ear flaps and under-chin ties are acceptable; hats need some stretch for comfort over forehead) * Socks for newborns and infants (basic socks with heels and good cover for the lower leg; no booties or slippers, please) Please note: we are NOT accepting items in sizes for premie babies. Please use standard baby sizes.
We also need to send: *Blankets of all sizes (we'd love if crocheters could focus on blankets, as crochet goes faster and is thicker generally; again, please think dense, not lacy) And ... *Sweaters, hats, mittens, and socks for children under 7 years of age (to give to new mothers to take home for their other children) And ... *Socks for the new mothers! The health-care coordinator told us that the mothers would love to have warm socks for themselves. Generally, Afghans remove their shoes when in their homes, and feet can get cold almost any time of the year.
Please assume standard garment sizes. Afghan children may be thinner than North American children, but they are not shorter.
Important information to review
* Use wool (or other animal fiber) to provide maximum utility in harsh weather. Please review our memo on wool and fiber content. * Please avoid white and very light colors that soil more easily. Afghans like all colors. Feel free to mix up a bright and cheery palette. Use up those wool oddballs. * Knit or crochet your favorite pattern or try something new. * Please be sure to add buttons if not sending a pullover garment. Garments need to close up against cold. * Please be sure that garments have adequate coverage: hats need to cover ears; sleeves need to go to the wrist; torsos need to be long (bare midriffs are not the rage in Afghanistan!) * Basic socks with heels and good cover for the lower leg; no booties or slippers, please. *Consider trying your garment on your own children or a neighbor's child ... to double-check proper fit. *Avoid lacy or airy patterns.
Our general guidelines and mailing addresses are here for your reference.
US due date: May 25. Canadian due date: May 7 (via elann.com in BC)
Feel free to send in your items as soon as they are ready -- we need to stay on top of the sorting and packing rather than scramble at the last minute. This also lets us gauge how we're doing.
And, please help spread the word about this campaign to your fiber friends. We count on our volunteers for the essential word-of-mouth to keep our momentum. Please share the link to this webpage. Add one of our banners to your blog or site.
Afghanistan and its people have been in the news a lot recently. That's good news! Keeping information flowing and awareness up is essential for a better future.
The Afghan people still need our attention and caring. When we started this project with the San Francisco office of the American Friends Service Committee in late 2001, we did not anticipate that the need would exist for so long. Hard to fathom. We did not anticipate the degree of desire to reach out to individuals on the other side of the world -- with our needles and hooks! Volunteers across the US and Canada have generously responded with enthusiasm and plenty of heart. Thank you for continuing to take action with your own hands. Your involvement is deeply valued.
Our best, Ann and colleagues at afghans for Afghans
Afghans 4 Tomorrow's health clinic in Wardak
Paul Magnusson's wool baby blankets for new mothers
Marsha MacColl of Afghans 4 Tomorrow
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