Monday, June 20, 2011

Crafting for Christchurch and Japan

Given the happenings of the last week in Christchurch, I thought it would be a good time to kick start the craft project for the city that will be running in tandem with the Japanese Disaster relief project (fromNZwithlove). At present both projects are low key, with crafters quietly working away on their goodies as it's still a wee way out until delivery dates in November and December.

I spoke with my cousin Kazue who lives in Sendai, Japan today. She is still very rattled by the ongoing aftershocks and the clean up of the aftermath of the tsunami. She spoke of how Mikki (her daughter who teaches at the Fukudamachi Kindergarten) has lost some of her high school friends to the tsunami, some were physically lost, others have become psychologically damaged from the trauma. While she is still able to laugh at some things, there is a poignancy in her voice as she relays the experiences of her family, people who live nearby, the ongoing fear that the kindergarten children suffer, the crumpled streets and the disappearance of areas she and my mother used to play in when they were young.

Kazue told me there was much happiness from the boxes we sent to the kindergarten. So many children benefited from the clothing and toys. Can you believe she apologised for not writing or sending photos - given what they are facing on a daily basis, this is hardly surprising, but it is so 'Japanese' that she would even think to say sorry for it!

The teachers are all managing to hold things together for the children. They remain strong in the face of the aftershocks and work tirelessly with traumatised and frightened children. As part of the FromNZwithLove project, I am hoping to be able to send small donations to the 17 teachers there. Kazue has indicated there are many people she knows who have lost homes and belongings, whatever is sent will be greatly appreciated.

crochet sock pattern

The warmth of NZ wool is well known in Japan. Kazue has often commented that the wool items my family have sent are not scratchy like Japanese wool (I can vouch for this! I had a gorgeous shawl knitted for me once and it was scratchy!) and there is a request for lots of warm socks please! If you're a sock knitter we are welcoming socks or sock yarn to be knitted!

Talking with Kazue helped keep the momentum going. While all I can offer is a small bit of help, each little bit counts and makes a difference.

 Christmas for Christchurch. This info is also on the project page on this blog.

Christchurch has really had a hard time of it of late. As with the tandem project (fromNZwithlove) for Japan, this project looks down the road ahead. People will need as much aroha as they are receiving now in six month's time.

Christmas4Christchurch (C4C) hopes to deliver Christmas smiles and happiness to families who have really struggled and lost so much through the devastating earthquakes. Families will be identified and Christmas care packs will be distributed to them - something for each person in the house and some good Xmas Kai (food) as well.

I know Christmas is a LOOOONG way out - but again, I'm going with a handmade theme and now's the time to start on some of those projects and six months comes around pretty fast! If you're making an Xmas decoration, why not make one extra or two for Christchurch or Japan. Are you sewing a wee tote or stuffed animal for a niece, daughter or grandchild, make one extra...

I'll update this page soon with more ways to help. We're in the process of identifying families in need. If you know of any, please let me know. If you want to help, then let me know too (

A button should be coming soon for you to share the love, and hopefully a website too!

I really would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and suggestions for the project's development...


Ann said...

I was given by a fellow blogger from UK, patterns for knitted dolls. if you are interested, I will dig it out.

Miko said...

Ann, that would be wonderful! would it be ok to share with others here?