I Knit London

I Knit London, club, shop and sanctuary.

Friday, April 27, 2007

knit (and sew) a river

Sometimes I wake up and I'm swimming in a big blue river. It's a great feeling being enveloped in such warmth that it feels a little like love. It feels like the river has been made with all the love there is.

Then I really wake up and catch my breath and wonder whether we are going to get the river sewn in time for the 12 May when we march with it to Downing Street.

If you are reading this you will not be surprised by another post about the river and how much support we have received etc etc but I have to go on to say that I am amazed every day about the different levels that the campaign is working on.

In June last year we got very excited because we thought we had come up with a great quirky idea to campaign for WaterAid. We thought Knit a river might help to disseminate the issues that an extraordinary amount of people face due to lack of access to safe, clean drinking water.

Then we received some blue squares. Then some more and more and more and you know the rest.

We are sewing it at the moment and we are getting a lot done thanks to many, many individuals and lots of groups. We put a call out to the schools in the area local to the WaterAid office (who knew there were so many?) and the response has been, obviously by now, great.

I have just taken 2 bin bags, to add to the first, to another secondary school around the corner. They have sewn a whole bin bag in less than 2 days. Some of them have even taken them home to sew! While I was there talking to them in their library one of the questions was 'If I come to the march will I get on the telly?'

'Of course,' I said. ' Why wouldn't you? But you must ask your mum and dad to bring you.'

'I can come on my own, I'm 14!'

'I'm sure you can. I will speak to the press people at WaterAid and find out if they can get a story in the local paper about how great you are for helping. Shall I?'

'Yeah! Will we have a picture, too? I think it will be good with a picture of us all but I think they should take a picture of just me because they would probably want to use that one. What's this for anyway?'

That was my cue. I told them more about WaterAid and offered to come and speak to them in an assembly. I hope they take me up on that, I love speaking to kids about water issues, they pick it up easier than I once thought. It's very easy for young people to engage with these massive issues as the fact that they affect so many children in Africa and Asia makes it very easy for them to relate to it.

Knit a river hasn't just reached the knitters. It is doing much more.
The WaterAid Campaigns Manager was on a course this week and the tutor gave them a presentation about strategies and building campaigner support and she actually sited Knit a river (with a picture in her powerpoint presentation!) as one of the best campaigns ever as it was quirky, engaging, unusual and promoted a great action - knitting a square! Charity knitting is not new to us but I am not sure there has been anything like this before.

Our next item on the campaigning agenda is writing to your MP. An End Water Poverty Early Day Motion has been tabled with the House of Parliament. An EDM is an internal petition for MP's and if lots (over 200) sign it then it will be discussed within the house.
It's very easy to write to your MP using this website. All you have to do is encourage them to sign EDM 1113 End Water Poverty. The global crisis in sanitation and water is an outrage. We can not choose to tackle or not tackle this crisis. This is the fundamental issue on which the eradication of poverty depends.
Please write to your MP and urge them to sign EDM 1113.

Now, what have I done with that sewing needle!?

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