Wool Squares 2015

It's Back!!!

The Close- Knit Community will be returning to Abergavenny on 22nd March 2015. And it will be bigger and more stunning than ever!

This project is about celebrating our community and its link to Swayimane, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. We want as many people as possible to join in. So get your knitting needles/ crochet hooks out and make a square!

Squares should be 20 x 20cm (about 8 x 8") and made out of synthetic wool (so the wool doesn't felt on the tree and it's easier to wash when it's time to recycle the squares and turn them into blankets for other charities). Any colour goes- the brighter the better!

And not knowing how to knit or crochet is not an excuse! We are running informal 'learn the basics' sessions at Emmeline's Homebaking, Baker Street each Thursday 7- 9pm. More details on our Forthcoming Events page.

Pop by our Facebook page, Close Knit-Wales and South Africa, for suggested patterns for either knitted or crocheted squares. Or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The link between Abergavenny and Swayimane was established in 2013 through Wales Africa Community Links, funded by the Welsh Government's Wales for Africa programme.

Some sobering reading about the situation in the area where Zimele operates

The 2014 PACSA Food Price Barometer is a research document that makes terrifying reading. PACSA (Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action) reports on a society in crisis. It is against this backdrop that the work of Zimele takes place in South Africa. The report states: “A significant number (45.2%) of our households are female-headed. Female-headed households are typically the most vulnerable sector of our society, women being the lowest paid and shouldering the highest burden of care. Almost half of all people of working age are unemployed, many having given up hope of ever finding a job." It continues, "Food is not the first expense which households pay but typically one of the last because food is one of the few expenses which households are able to control. The 2014 PACSA Food Price Barometer has shown that as economic pressures increase on households and certain foods became unaffordable, households substitute those foods for cheaper products. These cheaper products have now become unaffordable leaving households with no further choices but hunger.” Please read this document, it will open your eyes to how KwaZulu Natal’s impoverished communities simply cannot survive without support from projects such as ours.

Link to doc…

Zimele's Big Give Christmas Challenge 2014

The countdown begins!

Cinderella, a Zulu farmer, drying her “magic” bean crop

Meet Cinderella, a Zulu farmer, drying her “magic” bean crop.

We’d like to help women like her maximise the potential of their homestead gardens and fields. A better yield means more food on the family table,  as well as extra to sell.


Bean SowingCommunal Tending


We’re funding a training programme for women to learn eco friendly techniques to boost their crops and conserve local resources.

Any donation you make to Zimele through The Big Give will be matched. That's right! Your money will be doubled!

The challenge opens for on-line donations at 10am on Thursday 4th December until that days matching money is exhausted. Last year, Thursday’s pot of money ran out in minutes! But do keep trying! There will be more money released at 10am on Friday and Saturday.

Visit http://new.thebiggive.org.uk/project/ZimeleFarmers to find out more about the project. You can also follow this link on the day to make your donation.

So go on, help Cinderella’s dreams come true!