Stitch in time a chance to save lives
ARMEDwith just a ball of wool, a pair of bamboo knitting needles and an easy-to-follow knitting pattern, passengers and crew on P&O Cruises ships are bringing comfort to newborn babies in the communities visited on regional voyages.
This contribution has been made possible through the Save the Children organisation’s Born to Knit program.
Passengers are supplied with enough wool to knit a woollen square for a baby’s blanket. They can either purchase more wool to complete the blanket or hand over their squares to be sewn together by a group of volunteers in Melbourne.
The completed blankets are then distributed among Pacific communities to help ward off diseases such as pneumonia, one of the biggest killers of children aged under five in the developing world.
‘‘It’s heartbreaking to think there are some kids [ in the Pacific] who don’t have some of the basics we take for granted, like a warm blanket,’’ says Simon Cheng, marketing director at Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises.
Aside from the knitting program, each passenger is asked to donate $1 through onboard accounts to a variety of health and educational projects run by Save the Children in the Pacific, from the building of first-aid posts and dispensaries to the training of healthcare workers.
‘‘I think the partnership with Save the Children has enormous potential to help reshape community expectations in the Pacific,’’ says Ann Sherry, chief executive of Carnival Australia. ‘‘Remote communities should have access to services that all of us would absolutely take for granted . . . our partnership helps make that happen.’’ pocruises.com.au savethechildren.org.au
P&O cruise director Gemma Gregory Jones gets knitting