DUT HOSTS CHARITY KNIT-A-THON
By: Takudzwa Makoni
“Giving back” is often associated with how big a check one can write. The Durban University of Technology, in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts and Design’s Community Outreach Programme today hosted the first ever charity Knit-a-thon, proving that all one really needs to do to make a difference, is to show up.
Fuelled by tea, cake and the desire to make a difference, students from across the DUT campuses donated their time to knit woollen squares in the faculties Writing Centre. The squares will then be donated to Kerr House, a shelter for women in crisis. Denise Engelbrecht, who happens to have worked for DUT for twenty years, is now a volunteer, working with Kerr House.
She extended her gratitude to the D.U.T. community: “Kerr House is doing essential work with women who are destitute, victims of violence and abuse, or who have lost their way and need a hand to get back on their feet. The women are cared for, and taught skills such as craft-work. Once it is deemed safe for the women to re-enter society, Kerr House assists in whatever way they can, from helping with children, to assisting in finding employment. The students at the DUT donating their time, especially on a Friday, means the world to me and to the women.”
The location of the shelter is a secret, as a lot of these women are fleeing untenable situations, and relies on donations from the public. “We give women who are out of options a second chance. It’s amazing to see so many young people joining in and contributing,” Engelbrecht continued.
Andrea Alcock, who runs the Writing Centre and co-ordinated the event, was pleased at the turn out, and emphasised that initiatives such as these were important in producing good citizens, and not just good students. “This knit-a-thon creates space for students to interact with those with whom they share this community with, and hopefully, will actively help to tangibly improve the situations of those around them. This event also provides an opportunity for students from different faculties to interact and exchange perspectives.” “Also,” Alcock added, “what better way to commemorate Women’s Month than working with an organisation as crucial as Kerr House?”
Amanda Buthelezi, a volunteer from the Arts Faculty, admitted that she did not know how to knit, but a little instruction and a lot of enthusiasm turned her ball of yarn into a bright yellow square. “This turned out to be a lot of fun, and the goals behind the knit-a-thon are definitely worth supporting,” she said.
Sinqobile Mbuyazi, another student volunteer raised the stakes, saying that she only wished that this programme could be hosted every week. For information on how to contribute to the work Kerr House does, please contact Andrea Alcock at the Durban University of Technology’s Arts Faculty Writing Centre.