A Kimberley woman, in the Northern Cape, has started a project dubbed “Beanies for KH”.

The project knits beanies, booties and blankets for premature babies born at Robert Sobukwe Hospital. Due to its success, orphanages, and social service centres are also now benefiting.

Judi Jooste’s friend started the project to suppress her cigarette cravings, by knitting. In no time she had stacks of little beanies and jerseys for premature babies. Ten years later, the project has grown and is now donating toiletry packs to mothers.

“When you have a premature baby, you don’t know in advance that you’re going to be in hospital for up to three months. They run out of toiletries, out of everything. Then we started asking TJE communities for donations of toiletries to make up a little package consisting of basic things like things that we take for granted, deodorants, the toothbrush.

“We don’t think about those but when you are in hospital, especially now in COVID times, no one can come and visit you. They can’t bring you this stuff and you can’t even go out for basic things that will make your life easier,” says Jooste who is leading the project.

Jooste says old-age homes around Kimberley have joined hands with her. Elderly women knit these little jerseys and blankets for leisure, but wool is in short supply.

“There were ladies who started knitting projects in the old age homes. They realise that if they bring those ladies out of their rooms to sit in a lounge and to be social, they become much brighter, much more involved and happier. So then, we started asking for wool and that is, at this stage also, a big need, a ball of wool,” explains Jooste.

Apart from clothing premature babies, the project also donates knitted dolls to Robert Sobukwe’s oncology children’s ward. – Report by Motlalepule Morake

Beanies for KH an initiative aimed at helping premature babies: