As the winter season hooks up with S. Africans under this enervating lockdown, the women at MES Johannesburg’s Impilo shelter have committed to keeping themselves warm by knitting and crocheting and in adversely tapping into a talent that many have let lie dormant for a long time.

According to MES National Fundraising and Marketing Manager, Zama Ndlovu, this was an activity initiated by the organisation, shortly after wool was donated when MES made a request for donation of activity items, to help the vulnerable living in the shelters keep busy whilst on lockdown under threat of Covid-19 pandemic.

“The knitting benefits the ladies at the shelter because they are knitting items for themselves especially for the winter coming up. There is always something positive that happens in ones heart when you attempt a new skill and complete a beautiful product. It has given them a sense of belonging and achieving in a time it was most needed. The nice thing is that they are also knitting some baby stuff for the two ladies who are pregnant,” said Ndlovu.

While Ndlovu admitted that after seeing the interest and talent that the ladies had for the knitting and crocheting, MES made a special appeal again for wool for the ladies in order to keep the project going and to keep the ladies motivated. Two friends of MES started collected wool and got donations to purchase more wool and MES would like to thank Therese de Frey and Erna Dreyer for mobilisation their networks.

MES is aiming to sell these products in order for the women to make money for themselves, as soon as the lockdown regulations are lifted. Among clothing products made by homeless women at Impilo include; scarves, hats, gloves, bags, blankets and jerseys. The next dream is to start a sewing project as well, but we need at least 3-5 machines to get the project started.

With this in mind, MES JHB is extending the challenge to all MES shelters across the country’s inner cities to start programmes and activities that will be of benefit to the beneficiaries and offer a way of reinstating their confidence and dignity.