MSF are launching an exciting new campaign next week which focuses on childbirth, called MSF Delivers. See what they did there, clever isn’t it!
To launch MSF Delivers MSF have made a superb 3D photofilm following MSF midwife Sam and her work in Congo. I’ve seen a preview without the 3D and it is excellent. You are all invited to view the film from 22nd – 27th September, 3d specs included, at Spitafields market, where it will be showing from 9am til 7pm everyday. The film lasts 6 minutes so if you are in the area it is easy to pop in and watch an incredible story unfold in a lunchbreak or after work.
If you can’t make it to London there will be plenty of information on the MSF Delivers website which is coming soon.
We have some tie ins with p/hop coming next week to coincide with the launch of MSF Delivers. Watch this space…
We don’t normaly do what I am about to do at p/hop. We are a steady fundraiser for Médecins Sans Frontières meaning there’s money in the pot as and when it is needed. Our blog is usually about knitting and how we, the knitting community, raise money and awareness for MSF. However the dreadful situation facing hundreds of thousands of people, ordinary people, trying to live their lives and raise their children in Somalia, is dire.
You can read more about it on the MSF website, or see it on the news (when they are reporting on more than the immoral behaviour of a newspaper) but here is a summary.
As prolonged drought grips Somalia, people are losing their livestock, homes and lives. Poor harvests, rising food prices, continuing violence and chronic poverty have further contributed to a sudden rise in malnutrition rates.
Almost one in three children is suffering from severe malnutrition
The security situation in Somalia is complicated, but because MSF is an impartial medical organisation and relies on charitable donations instead of government funding, it continues to be the only medical charity working in many areas.
There are hundreds of children and adults arriving at MSF clinics every day. Many of them need expert medical care for malnutrition, often whilst battling other severe conditions such as malaria and pneumonia.
If you can get Current TV (Sky 183 or Virgin 155) it’s worth watching the documentary about MSF called Doctors Without Borders – Medicine on the Edge.
The first episode was aired last night but is repeated at the following times:
Tues 25th May – 9pm
Sun 29th May -10pm
Mon 30th May -9pm
Part two is on Mon 30th May at 10pm
“Curious to see what kinds of people volunteer to work in some of the poorest and most dangerous places in the world, Current TV spent four months in the Democratic Republic of Congo following the lives and work of medical aid workers from Doctors Without Borders. ”
Happy New Year Everyone. Before we launch headlong into 2011 I’m going to take a few moments to look back over 2010. What a year it was, we were here there and everywhere meeting hundreds, if not thousands of friendly and generous knitter, but you know all that (well you do if you read the blog). One of the things I love about p/hop is when people are inspired to make a difference and raise money which will enable MSF to provide vaccines, midwives, nutrition and other life saving care to people who desperately need it.
Take for example IsobelM who asked for a collecting tin and some info on p/hop and MSF to add to a display on knitting in her local library in the Isle of Man. Or Shelia who always makes a donation through Just Giving whenever there is a birthday in the family, remembering those who have very little in life at times of personal celebration. Or Rhoda who knitted tea cosies to sell for MSF at a local craft cafe and gallery. Or the anonymous knitter who donates for a pattern. Or Rooknits and Picperfic who coordinated the 2010 raffle blankets and all the individuals who donated their knitting time to make squares to create beautiful throws. All these acts of kindness make a huge difference.
Jacqui, modelling her Flowers in the Rain design at Woolfest in July
Good eh? If you helped p/hop raise money for MSF, in any way, no matter how small, in 2010 give yourself a pat on the back, a nice cup of tea,some knitting time, and start thinking about what we can do in 2011.
Today is World Aids Day. Please take a few minutes out of your day to read about the work MSF does about HIV and AIDS and see how your p/hopped pennies help people living with HIV and AIDS.
As well as helping with raising vital funds through p/hop you can take direct action to ensure generic medicines are still available to people in the developing world. Here’s the introduction from the MSF UK website.
“Millions of people in developing countries rely on affordable generic medicines to stay alive. More than 80% of the medicines used by MSF to treat AIDS across the developing world are produced in India. But the European Commission is now shutting off the tap of affordable medicines by attacking the production, registration, transportation and exportation of generic medicines. People who need these will be left without a lifeline.
Help Médecins Sans Frontières send a message to the European Commission to keep their HANDS OFF OUR MEDICINE!”
We’re off to a Seasonal Knitting Event on Monday, The Bothered Owl’s Christmas Party, which will feature nibbles, drinks, yarn shopping and p/hop as well as good friends and festive cheer. I’m taking along our best Giftmas knitting patterns and am looking forward to chatting with knitters, the lovely Bothered Owl team, and munching mince pies.
If you’re going to a festive knitting event why not take a few copies of you favourite patterns along to help spread the p/hop word. We still have some of our postcards so if you would like some to take to an event please get in touch.
Most of us knitters like to make special, lovingly hand crafted gifts for people at Christmas. You can also give something very special through MSF. MSF have teamed up with gifts4good to offer various medical kits as gifts. Your recipient will receive an email telling them what your gift will do. eg £15 will provide someone with antiretroviral therapy for a month or £150 will buy a surgical kit. At my old work place we used to club together and buy a large gift for good instead of small gifts for each other. 100% of the money goes directly to MSF and there is no waste as it’s all done by email. Brilliant!
Hi all, just a quick post. I know a lot of you p/hoppers and knitters wrote messages of support to the people of Eastern Congo as part of the Condition: Critical project. Well, we said we would deliver these messages to Congo and this video is the first of the messages getting there. Thought you might like to see it.
For me personally, it’s really great to see. The stories that came out of Congo during the project were very personal and touching. When we asked people to write messages that we could take to Congo to show that people were listening to their stories and thinking of them, the response was amazing. Delivering the messages is the last part of the project and being able to see the reactions from local people was really important.
Today is World Tuberculosis Day. TB is one of those diseases which is generally considered a thing of the past in the UK, like small pox or the plague. Unfortunately TB is still rife in several countries claiming 1.8 million lives last year alone. One of the growing problems with treating TB is the rise is multi-drug resistant strains which are immune to antibiotic therapies therefore making it much harder to treat.
While browsing the internet I discovered there is a gene in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the TB bacteria, called PhoP. The PhoP gene plays a role in making TB more virulent. This gene could be a good target for new drugs. If the PhoP gene can be stopped from working, TB will spread less.
So as well as the knitting p/hop working to hard to stop diseases spreading through yarn swaps and generosity there’s another PhoP which could help in the fight against TB. I wonder if there are any other “p/hop”s we don’t know about?
I also found some bacteria knitting patterns which make deadly diseases look cute and fuzzy. It would be fantastic if this were the only way deadly bacteria existed, like toy dinosaurs. Maybe one day, thanks to organisations like MSF this will be the case.
Pete, MSF UKs Web Editor, along with the rest of the MSF teams across the world, has been working his (non-hand-knitted) socks off since last week when the earthquake devastated Haiti so he hasn’t had much time for knitting his scarf (more on that later). However he has put together this interview he did with MSF surgeon Paul McMasters who is working at the Carrfour hospital in Haiti.
If you want a reminder of why we support Médecins Sans Frontières and the work they do to help people in need please listen to this.
Haitian doctor Adesca, Surgeon Paul McMaster and German nurse Anja Wolz, Carrefour.
We knit, we make beautiful tactile things, we enjoy it, but we also give that little bit extra with p/hop.
The atmosphere in the MSF UK office is busier today with a calm yet determined sense of purpose due to the earthquake last night in Haiti. You can keep up-to-date with MSF’s disaster response on the MSF UK website or via their twitter feed.
I’m sorting out new p/hop patterns which feels a little odd in the middle of all the serious work going on around me but I know it does make a difference.
So if you’re knitting while watching the news tonight you can know you’ve made a difference too as having money already in the MSF pot makes it easier to respond immediately to disasters.