We measured them, and puzzled them all together. The aim? To make blankets for an orphanage in Congo.
Through facebook someone asked me whether we weren’t being too naïve. Blankets, is that really what they are waiting for in Congo? Wouldn’t it be better if we sold those blankets, and use the proceeds to buy vaccines?
I understand this reasoning. It does sound rather colonial, making blankets for Congo.
But as it turns out, there are mothers that give birth to their babies in the orphanage, and quite often they have close to nothing. And at that point, they are very grateful to get a blanket to wrap their newborns in. On top of that, blankets are not the only objects that are shipped to Congo.
The orphanage in Congo is led by a Belgian nun who used to live in our neighbourhood. She gets help from her family, and from fellow nuns here in Belgium. There’s no official organisation running it all, it’s just friends and family who keep on giving the best of themselves. Twice a year, a container is shipped off to Congo, holding not only blankets, but also all kinds of material that can be of help. And that can be anything. For example: materials were sent to build a school close to the orphanage, so that the children there did not have to walk for hours to get an education.
Personally, I think this initiative is very pure and selfless. Especially when you know that 2 out of 5 of the people who make the blankets, are over 90 years old. I really hope I’ll have the same drive and energy as they have when I grow that old.
One night of puzzling resulted in 6 blankets that are in the making. They are not finished yet, but we’ll just continue during our next edition of Ekkergemaakt on 25 June. And who knows, me may still get a 7th blanket out of the leftovers.