Braes High School pupils ‘Knit for Africa’

Braes High School pupils are knitting clothes for 'fish & chip babies' in Africa. (l-r) Jenna Colman, Louden Duncan, Kerry Monro, Alistair Penman, Kate McNee and Billy Stowe. Picture: Lisa McPhillips (132526e)
Braes High School pupils are knitting clothes for 'fish & chip babies' in Africa. (l-r) Jenna Colman, Louden Duncan, Kerry Monro, Alistair Penman, Kate McNee and Billy Stowe. Picture: Lisa McPhillips (132526e)
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It’s been popularised by the likes of the Duchess of 
Cambridge and actor Ryan Gosling - and now the knitting 
renaissance has reached Braes High School.

Pupils are spending their lunchtimes on Tuesdays busy with their needles and dip stitches knitting clothes and blankets for ‘fish and chip 
babies’ in Africa.

They are so-called that 
because they often have to be wrapped in newspaper to keep them warm.

The knitting group, set up by staff and pupils from the school’s eco group, helps children in Kenya and Uganda. It works with Denny’s Westpark Church and global charity Greenfields Africa’s ‘Knit For Africa’ campaign.

Art teacher Sylvia Corsie said: “Part of the project is allowing teachers to bring their interests into the classroom so pupils can learn about other communities.

“The Knit For Africa campaign gives us a link between art and the school’s eco group because we are using recycled materials. It shows they are thinking and learning about not just what’s happening in their own communities but what’s happening on the other side of the world too.

“Last year we did around 70 jumpers for the fish and chip babies. They have told us they don’t need any more jumpers, so we’re doing blankets now. The project is extra-curricular so the pupils doing it deserve great credit for the work they are putting in.”

Pupils Jenna Colman (14) and Kate McNee (13) said the project is beneficial to their schoolwork as well as being fun and something “a little bit different”.

Jenna said: “It’s good because we are making things instead of just buying them, which would be much easier.

“To think there are babies in the world who are wrapped in newspaper to keep them warm because they don’t have proper clothes is shocking. By doing this can make a difference, even if it is a small one.”

Greenfields Africa has teams of volunteers across Europe knitting baby clothes and cot blankets for families in Uganda and Kenya.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “The mothers of babies born into poverty have a tough time. Incomes are so low that there is often nothing more than a scrap of cloth or old towel to wrap a new baby in. This project not only gives the babies dignity and comfort, it also ensures pregnant women are tested for Aids and diabetes and have access to childcare information.”