The Power of 8 inches!

A Skein of Wool, 8 inch squares… from Canada to Malawii = blankets for children!

Greetings from Malawi to all you Canadian women who are knitting squares.


I am Patricia Saulos and together with Esther Kamwana, we would like to thank God for you and for the 8 inch squares you knit for us. Your squares have brought about what we call the TIAO Project. Tilele Ife Ana Ovutika: We Help Our Troubled Children. Since we started in 2016, many needy children have been helped.

Anne Powell 1939-2020

This project was started by Anne Powell. We are so thankful to Anne for her love and care for our children.

This project was started by Anne Powell of Leaskdale, Ontario, Canada. Anne had a heart for children in need and Anne liked to knit. She was also very good at encouraging other to get knitting. I say “was” because recently our friend and founder, Anne, went to be with Jesus. We are so thankful to Anne for her love and care for our children. We sorrow that she is gone and want to be sure her work continues. I have written this report to be shared with the women who are knitting squares there. Here in Malawi, although we did not meet face to face, we shall not forget the good work she has been doing packing, organising and sending the goods to us.


This is how it works: you knit your 8 inch, so colorful squares. These are sent to Anne’s daughter, Kelly, who makes bundles of 35 squares. These 35 squares make 1 blanket for a needy child.


Big bundles of squares are shipped to Malawi through the kindness of Africycle (another story!). When we receive the squares, we go to our rural churches and gather together the widows who crochet the squares together to make blankets.


This year 2020 we have received 7,988 squares. We trained widows from 30 churches how to assemble the squares into blankets. Many of the widows we trained had never held a needle or a crochet hook before. They had so much fun learning how to put these squares into blankets. As they assemble the blankets, the women select needy children in their community who will receive a blanket. The number of blankets created this year was 228. This represents 228 children who have their own blankets, possibly for the first time in their lives.


In addition to getting the squares together, Anne also did fund-raising to help with the money needed to distribute the squares. The funds have also helped to provide some food to 6 infants who were malnourished, infants who had lost their mothers and were being raised by their grandmothers.


Here in Malawi we have a lot of vulnerable children due to:


  • The pandemic disease HIV/AIDS
  • poverty
  • break up of families
  • we only depend on agriculture which is seasonal and not advanced and poor markets to sell the harvest
  • high level of unemployed people due to lack of industries
  • unsustainable electricity which create fear to investors
  • insufficient clean water which causes waterborne diseases. Combined, these factors create huge number of vulnerable children and elders.


And then there is COVID, which is a global issue. Ether and I thank God for His protection as we traveled to churches to distribute the squares and train the women. We thank you, all you knitters, for your willingness to help those in need. May God provide you with good health and energy as you are continuing to knit the squares. We love you.


Written by Patricia Saulos

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