Friday, 19 October 2012

Craftivist & Save the Children Race Against Hunger

If you scroll down, you will see that I've added a new worth a look badge thanks to Hilary at Craft Blog UK.  She emailed me earlier about a campaign being run by Craftivist in aid of the Save the Children Race Against Hunger Campaign called I'm A Piece.  I'll leave it to her to explain:

"Our campaign focuses on malnutrition which effects economies as well as cutting short millions of childrens lives at an astonishing rate of 300 children dying every hour of every day from preventable hunger related causes - that's about the same number of children dying *every hour* as are in a typical local primary school. It just seems so ridiculous to say a statistic like that in the 21st century - so any small thing we can all do to change this, I think we should.

We're asking for creatives and crafters all across the UK to create jigsaw pieces (on their own or with friends / craft groups) which will be brought together in an impressive art installation next spring - I'm getting addicted already, feels great to be making something that has real meaning!  Each piece will be embroidered or painted with a positive or provocative message about the issue.  Crafters are encouraged to make 3 pieces -
  • One to keep to remind them to be part of the solution and not the problem. 
  • One to send to be a part of the big jigsaw puzzle, so we can make a huge impact when they are all put together. 
  • One to send or give to their MP, because the fact is hunger is a political issue with a political solution.  Contacting your mp can seem a little daunting and you might not know what to say - but we have help from the experts at Save the Children so just ask if you'd like a bit of advice, you can simply click reply to this email.
By asking your mps to urge our Prime Minister to really tackle this issue at the G8 next spring we could potentially be saving millions of lives as well as helping to eradicate the long term need for aid in some areas. Campaigning really works to raise awareness and this is what we need to ensure David Cameron does what's needed when he hosts the G8 and talks to all the worlds leaders in 2013 - the conference is being held here in the UK in the Lake District, so we can show the world the British public are passionate about seeing changes to global food injustices."

How to get involved:
#imapiece - the hash tag for getting involved - everything tagged with this on twitter / instagram / linked in etc will be shared in our hub web site.
Events - if you don't want to stitch alone, join one of these events, or host an event yourself! (I'm having a few friends around for a stitching session)
Craftivist 'I'm a piece' HQ - the hub site where we can see who's talking about the project and find out all the info and links
Craftivist Collective website - in case you want to know what craftivism is
Downloadable jigsaw template (they all need to be the same size (140mm x 200mm) so that the big art installation works)
I'm a piece instruction video - worth a watch as it has tips on using things like bondaweb to stiffen the jigsaw pieces
Ideas for what to stitch on your jigsaw piece - you could also use fabric paint.
A story to reflect on whilst you are stitching - This is a pdf you can cut into 4 in order to pass to any friends stitching with you."

Can't argue that this is a great idea! 

I grew up being encouraged by my Mother and Grandmother to make things for charity and have strong, wonderful memories of the time spent, sat with them, making knitted patchwork blankets and jumpers for the children caught in the famine in Ethiopia in 1984, quilts for the earliest sufferers of HIV/AIDS and also for the Romanian orphans found after the fall of Ceausescu in 1990.  It was easy to see that each was item was beautifully made with bright, bold colours and just humming with love.  

By encouraging me to get involved in making things for charity my Mother and Grandmother taught me the value of making your time part of the act of giving.  Too often charitable acts can be done too quickly and without a great deal of thought; it is easy to hit the donate button, drop the coins in the collection box, sign the petition and move on.  Don't get me wrong, any act of charity, however small or quickly done, is a great and good thing: but, taking the time and creating something as part of a charitable movement is a  powerful thing.  It gives you an opportunity, in the making, to truly contemplate the nature of the work, for it to permeate your subconscious and to resonate within you.  As with all things, charity is learnt and there is no better way to be taught that than in making something beautiful in aid of someone else.  I am going to see if the 11yr old would like to make some jigsaw pieces with me.
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