Have you heard about the current crisis in South Sudan? You may well not have done, because it’s hardly been mentioned on the mainstream media. MSF have been keeping their website up to date with what’s happening here. Thousands and thousands of people are stranded without access to shelter, food, or clean water.

This is how one of the refugees described their situation:

Some days, the water truck does not come and we do not get any water. The children cry and cry as they are thirsty. Sometimes we spend two days without water. The water is so close, but we cannot have it, as there is not enough for everybody.

I cannot imagine spending two days without water. I can’t imagine what it’s like to hear your child cry from thirst and be unable to help them. Malnutrition in the camps is way above emergency levels.

Here at p/hop we normally raise money by donating our pennies for the pleasure we get from knitting or crocheting. But when I read about what was happening in South Sudan, I wanted to do a bit more. Every day, I drink as much as I want without being afraid that the water I drink might kill me. That’s something I take for granted. The people in the refugee camps don’t get that pleasure.

So I’m going to be p/’h2o’pping for a bit. I’m putting a few pennies aside every time I drink a bottle of water, a cup of tea, a can of fizzy pop, or a glass of wine, and I’ll be donating the money to MSF for as long as the South Sudan crisis continues. Why don’t you join me?

Other people have suggested p/’h2o’pping for every litre of water you drink, or for every time you use fresh water (in the washing machine, in the bathroom, in the garden…). If you have other ideas, please share them in the comments.

Family in flooded refugee camp, South Sudan © Ruby Siddique/MSF

Wimbledon Footlets

Blue skies, green grass, extremely fit men running around, and the agony of Andy Murray losing again. A bowl of strawberries and cream, and perhaps a glass of barley water or Pimms would be the ideal accompaniment to the perfect summer afternoon of knitting while watching the tennis.

What better project for the tennis season than these little footlets, inspired by classic tennis socks with the little pompoms on the back?  The footlets have a neat i-cord bind off with a button fastening to ensure that they fit well over the heel. The pompoms are optional but recommended!

Wimbledon Footlets

They are a great way of using up small balls of leftover sock yarn. The stripe pattern shows off a beautiful variegated or self-striping yarn if you choose a neutral solid as the background. For the full Wimbledon effect, you’ll want purple and green yarn, but this would also be a good choice of pattern for the Ravelympics, knitted in the colours of your home nation.

As I write this, MSF are working with refugees in Southern Sudan who are dying because there is no fresh water to drink. As the traditional English summer rain pours down outside, it’s hard to imagine that this horrific crisis is going on unremarked. I hope you have fun knitting these socks, and please give generously to p/hop for the pattern, to support MSF’s work in Sudan and elsewhere.

Thanks Ros for another brilliant pattern. To find out more about Ros’ Wimbledon Footlets and download the pattern please click here.

The total and why we p/hop

If you glance to your right and take a look at our Just Giving Widget you will see that we, that’s me and you and all the fibre-fans who have contributed to p/hop, have raised over £33,000 for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). This is fantastic. We’re still a way off from reaching our target for this year of £40,ooo, but we’re getting closer.

At the moment MSF staff are working flat out in South Sudan, with 15,000 people who are struggling to survive without fresh water. This shocking situation has not reached our mainstream media but you can help spread the word. This video with MSF doctor Erna is on Vimeo and the news story is here.

If you are unable to watch the video here’s part of what Erna says:

We went early on Tuesday morning to provide medical assistance and rehydration points along the route,” says Doctor Erna Rijnierse, MSF’s medical team leader.

“It was a truly shocking sight as we witnessed some of the weakest dying as they walked – too dehydrated for even the most urgent medical care to save them.”

She adds: “The scale of what is happening here is shocking, even for experienced emergency team members who have seen a lot.

While you may be feeling helpless you can make a difference. Share the news of what is happening to people in South Sudan, tell your friends, tweet about it, share the video on facebook. As always, your donations through p/hop go straight to MSF’s work, where it is needed, whether or not it is on the news.

Thank you.