I'm writing to tell you about an upcoming Oxfam campaign that I really hope you will be interested in.
In essence, Oxfam is calling on knitters to 'purl together' and support a new campaign to reduce the numbers of women who die needlessly every year in pregnancy and childbirth. Millions of mums in poor countries get low-quality health care or are forced to go though pregnancy and childbirth without it altogether, meaning that, every minute of every day, a mother dies because she doesnt have access to the medical care she needs.
The campaign is being launched in partnership with Mumsnet.com. Mumsnet founder Carrie Longton said: "It seems astonishing that in the 21st century mothers are still dying through lack of basic healthcare. Mumsnet are delighted to be working with Oxfam to raise awareness of this desperate situation and Mumsnetters are busy knitting already".
Knitters across the UK are being asked to make 9-inch squares for a giant baby blanket, with each knitted square representing a mother who did not survive pregnancy or childbirth to be able to care for her child.
Our aim is to get 250,000 squares by September, the number of mothers who could have been saved in that time if decent healthcare had been available.
The giant blanket will be handed over to the UK Government just before world leaders meet in New York to discuss progress on the Millennium Development Goals, aimed at halving world poverty by 2015. It will represent a demand to global leaders to act now to ensure that everyone in the world has access to free basic healthcare.
After the giant blanket has been handed in, it will be dismantled and sold in Oxfam shops and at festivals, with the money raised going towards Oxfam's work to fight poverty.
If this is something you would be keen to get involved in it would be fantastic to have your support. We hope to have 'knit-ins' across the South West in May and June!
To find out more (including knitting pattern) please see the Oxfam website at www.oxfam.org.uk and search for 'knitting campaign'.
Or contact me, Hannah Durrant, at Oxfam South West, on firstname.lastname@example.org if you're keen to organise an event or to get involved locally.