Duduza Dolls by: Leanne Wilkinson

I’ve been busy making babies like they are going out of style! I have 13 right now, two more on the way.  No, I’m not trying to give the Duggar family a run for their money. My “babies’ are knit and crocheted Duduza (Comfort) dolls that will be delivered to the children in Swaziland this summer.  I seriously had no idea when I curiously picked up a pair of knitting needles at my sister’s cabin 5 years ago, that God would use a new-found love of knitting to take me to Africa – not once, but twice!

Back in 2009, Janine put out a request on 100 Huntley Street, a christian television broadcast here in Canada, asking for 15,000 knitted beanies/hats for the children of Swaziland.

Well, she had me at ‘knit’.  My sister and I got busy making these hats and ended up knitting 64 of them. As our needles clacked, God prompted us to go and hand them out in person. So we did, and we’ve never been the same since.  And now, once again, the LORD is sending us back to love His little ones with the works of our hands. Only this time, instead of hats we’ll be delivering thousands (yes, thousands! we need 10,000 in total) of knitted/crocheted dolls each tucked inside a pair of TOMS shoes. Talk about getting to be His hands and feet!

There is something truly special about every Dududza doll. They stir something within – even if you’re not a knitter or crocheter. It is certainly not the pattern itself, which is so basic and simple that even a beginner knitter/crocheter can pump one out without too much difficulty. It’s something more. They take on a personality & character. In fact, you can’t help but name them – Akua, Bobo, Maria, Gonsuke, Haniko, Lucy, Charlie…just to name a few. Every stitch, every scrap of brightly coloured yarn, even the red embroidered smile on each one is so unique. Each is an absolute one-of-a-kind treasure. Much the same way, God sees each of the children who will receive and love one of these dolls.

They only take about 2-4 hours each, depending on your skill and how detailed you make them. A very small sacrifice of time and effort for such a rewarding project. Not only will the Dududza Dolls be a trusted companion and listening ear for the Swazi children to whisper their worries and fears, but they are also a form of fundraising for the El Roi abandonded baby home. The US and Canadian Heart for Africa websites are selling pairs of Duduza Dolls for $15. One will be sent to the recipient of your choice anywhere in the world, and the other will be sent to Swaziland. Of course, you can chose to simply donate both dolls to Swaziland. Win-win.

I just can’t get enough! They’re addictive! And I’m not the only one makin’ babies like crazy. We’ve got people all over the world knitting/crocheting these dolls. I started a group on Ravelry.com (which, if you’re not in the crafty circle of things, is like Facebook for knitters & crocheters) There are 1.7 million registered Ravelry.com users – not kidding. Knitting is the new rock and roll, I’m just sayin… Anyways, within 2 days of starting this online group, over 140 people had joined the Comfort Doll cause! One lovely lady, Cynthia, from St. John, New Brunswick Canada said that we were “an answer to prayer, as she has 165 knitted Comfort Dolls, and didn’t know where to send them!” She posted 100 of the dolls to the HFA office in Georgia. The rest, I hope to pick up from her personally whenever I get a chance to fly to eastern Canada. This online community group is finding great joy in making these Dududza dolls and they are asking me questions about this tiny country called Swaziland, and wondering about the situation there, and who is Heart for Africa anyway?? The floodgates are open. God can use anything, including knitting/crocheting to change the world – oh yeah.

Well, my needles are calling my name. Off to make a baby .. only around 9,827 more to go.

Hello,
Enclosed you will find 100 beautiful and lovingly knit babies just waiting for children to love them! The women in my church of St. Mary and St. Bartholomews have been very busy making these dolls. On woman, Gladys, knit about 50 and then sadly was diagnosed with a brain tumor – she did however get to see photos of the some of her dolls in the smiling children’s arms of the Ibanda Baby home in Ibanda Uganda. her family proudly told of her efforts at her funeral this pst spring. I am happy to say we have been blessed to be able to share our dolls with children also in Western Africa, Roatan and Haiti and now with Heart for Africa in Swaziland. I belong to an online knitting community called “Ravelry” and just last week was contacted by a woman in Calgary (Leanne Wilkinson) who offered to pay postage for me to send the dolls to your office! Wasn’t that wonderful? This project has touched so many people all over the world in so many different and loving ways! Please find arms to hold our knitted babies and may they feel the love that has been tenderly knitted in to each and every one.

God Bless.

To purchase a Duduza Doll in the United States, please click here.

To purchase a Duduza Doll in Canada, please click here.

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12 Days of Christmas Shopping

On the twelfth day of Christmas My true love gave to me:

Twelve Honey Bees,
Eleven Moringa Trees,
Ten jugs of water,
Nine Swazi goats,
Eight bags of beans,
Seven clinic beds,
Six chickens laying,
Five Duduza dolls…(hold that note),
Four bags of coffee,
Three children’s beds,
Two bags of maize,
and a D6 for heavy lifting.

Please celebrate the 12 days of Christmas with Heart for Africa.
Click Here for our Christmas Gift Catalog.

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