Zoology team knits while they natter

12 October 2009

Staff and students of the Department of Zoology Department Knit together: Staff and students of the Department of Zoology Department knit for charity during their morning tea break. (From left) Dr Coleen Moloney, Dr Cecile Reed, Meg Ledeboer, Ed Hill, Dr Deena Pillay, Petra Muller, Prof John Hoffmann (HOD), Kate Rademeyer, Tinyiko Maluleke, Charmaine Uys, Caitlin Smith and Dr Jacqueline Bishop.

Chats about the unpredictable Cape Town weather, the latest Springbok, Proteas or Bafana Bafana games during tea time at the Department of Zoology have been dumped for something more constructive.

Instead of spending the time chatting, students and staff, including support staff, cleaners and professors, have been knitting blankets and beanies for disadvantaged communities.

"I have been involved in community upliftment projects before and thought it would be a nice gesture to use the time we have for tea time to do something constructive to help those less fortunate," said the department's Caitlin Smith.

The initiative has not only helped poor people in the Sweet Home Farm informal settlement in Philippi (where the goods were distributed via Warehouse, a non-government organisation), but has also brought the department together.

"This is also a nice community building project as we are all united in one common goal," Smith added.

So far, the department has finished 10 blankets (one double-bed blanket and several children's and single-bed blankets) and 40 beanies.

While some people are experienced knitters, others had no clue. But willingness to learn kept them going, and one staffer, who hadn't knitted at all, ended up knitting a blanket.

Smith has challenged members in her department, as well as the campus community, to donate wool or money for wool and needles.

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