The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Sisterhood Project, Sit ‘n Knit quilt for orphans in Africa

The Grinnell College Sisterhood Project has just completed a yearlong partnership with the Grinnell Sit n’ Knit. The two groups collaborated to knit approximately three hundred squares of fabric, which will be sent to grandmothers of AIDs orphans in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The Sit n’ Knit is a group of elderly women in the Grinnell community who meet up to knit on a regular basis.

“They were a really impressive group and what the Sisterhood Project decided to do was link them up with an organization of grandmothers of AIDs orphans in South Africa and Zimbabwe that also work on knitting projects,” said Amanda Muskat ’13, one of the founders of the Sisterhood Project. This organization is called Knit a Square.

The Sisterhood Project is a group that connects Grinnell college students and resources with women in the wider community to identify and solve problems facing women in Grinnell and increase female empowerment through community organizing and volunteer work.

The squares of fabric will be sent as individual pieces to South Africa and Zimbabwe. The grandmothers of the AIDs orphans will sew these squares together into quilts for the children.

“They can work on something together that will be mutually empowering,” Muskat said . “It gives those grandmothers of AIDs orphans a way to not feel powerless.”

The children will be presented with the blankets in a ceremony and these blankets will be used in the orphanages and homes of the children. The effect reaches far beyond the physical blankets, in that the process has had and will continue to have a lasting impact on everyone involved.

“I think the project went well,” said May Lou Clotfelter, a leader of the Sit n’ Knit Group. “We were inspired by Amanda’s presentation and produced a large number of squares.”

The quilt project is just one of the group’s many endeavors, as the Sisterhood Project has worked on a number of other projects to achieve the group’s primary goal of linking students from the college to larger women’s rights and female empowerment related projects in the Grinnell community.

“We collaborate with local women’s organizations to identify and solve problems facing women in Grinnell through community organizing and volunteer work,” Muskat said.

The quilt project with the Sit n’ Knit group was the first project that the Sisterhood Project took up in the community, but they have since expanded to several other projects.

“We’re working with the high school [students], trying to open up a dialogue with them,” said Heather Dean ’12, a member of the Sisterhood Project. “They said, ‘well we’re having issues with the students’ perceptions of gender and gender inequality in their relationships. What can you do about that?’ so it’s very much a dialogue between us and the school.”

The Sisterhood is collaborating with several other institutions around Grinnell to address a variety of issues relating to women.

“We have several women’s health related initiatives, working with the hospital in town,” Muskat said. “And we’re also collaborating with Real Men on campus for events second semester involving a Harris party and things like that.”

The group is also working with an organization called the Stork’s Nest, which offers classes and support for financially at risk mothers in the town of Grinnell, in addition to collaborating with the local law enforcement in an effort to address the stagnant domestic violence rates.

The Sisterhood Project meets Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. at the Joe Rosenfield Center in Room 202 and welcomes new members. There are many volunteer opportunities available within existing initiatives, as well as opportunities to implement new ideas and projects.

“It’s a group with an incredibly important message and I hope word spreads!” said Hannah Bauman ’13.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *