Afghans4afghans/Knit-A-Square/Mittens for Akkol

by Barbara Penn
(Palmdale, CA, USA)



Afghans4afghans is a San Francisco-based charity that knits warm clothes for children in Afghanistan. It was started after 9/11/2001 as an outreach to the people of Afghanistan. Many homes have no heat and neither do the schools. Winters in Afghanistan are snowy and harsh. We make knitted (wool only) caps, mittens, socks, and sweaters. The current campaign's goal is to collect 500 wool sweaters for a girls' school (deadline is July 31.) For more information, go to

I also knit for knit-a-square. They are in need of more than squares for blankets, although 8" squares are always welcome. It is the beginning of winter in S. Africa right now and the children (from infants to teens) need sweaters, vests, caps, mittens, and socks. There are many, many AIDS orphans there and some very compassionate women have set up little orphanages even though they have meager resources. The babies there sometimes have to sleep on cold linoleum floors clad only in a diaper and a little shirt. For them we make the KASCuddle, a knit or crocheted cocoon in which the child can sleep. A matching cap is often made. Right now, knit-a-square needs cash. For more information, go to

I recently found out about a charity knitting group called Mittens for Akkol. This group knits warm wool clothing for children from
infants to teens who live in orphanages in Kazakhstan (formerly a republic of the USSR). Winter temperatures there can drop to
30 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Some of the orphanages are unheated. They don't just need mittens; all kinds of warm clothing are welcome. I have been in Kazakhstan and conditions there can be grim, but the people are very nice. Go to for further information.

I am not affiliated with, nor employed by, any of these organizations; I am merely a participant who believes in their desire to help children.


Dear Barbara

Thank you for taking time writing about these three amazing organizations. Each one of them sounds amazing to me. We need more people like these on this planet. I have listed knit-a-square on my site but not the other two. My heart is breaking when hearing about these little children who have so little to get by. We have so much here and we're often take it for granted.

I grew up in a very poor family, I know how hard it is to grow up with out enough food to eat, cloth to wear and toys to play with. I wish I could help these children more. If you're interested in participate in one of these knitting and crochet charities, please visit the websites mentioned above for more information.

Thank you,


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