Do you remember playing “Telephone” when you were child, the game where you form a line and someone says something into the ear of Person 1 and by the time it gets to Person 15 it has mutated horribly and laughably, and something that started out “I like bologna sandwiches?” ends up “I fight felonious man witches?”
Well, not surprisingly, that’s what’s happening with Dulaan 10,000 or Bust! as it makes its way across the Net. First, however, let me send a big “mwah” and thank you to bloggers Rabbitch, Norma and Franklin for promoting the contest. Hugs and kisses to all of you. And now to clarify the one or two things that have gotten lost along the way:
1. You do not need to sign up for Dulaan 10,000 to participate in Dulaan. Anyone can knit for Dulaan anytime, anywhere. Dulaan 10,000 or Bust was just a short contest held in October and designed to, hopefully, drive our numbers up and increase awareness.
2. If you signed up for Dulaan 10,000 and want to knit more than five items, I beg of you, please do. You just need to knit at least five to qualify for the drawing.
3. If you joined the Yahoo Group, you didn’t automatically sign up for Dulaan 10,000 or Bust. If you still want to sign up, email me today at rymorriss at yahoo dot com.
4. For detailed information about Dulaan, please see this pdf flyer.
That being said, how many people had signed up by the end of the day yesterday? A quick check of my spreadsheet shows that 369 people have signed up, which translates into 1,845 items, and 52 people are already done with their five items. Today will be a “wiggle room” day, and I will add any one else who emails me today. The list of who has signed up needs some clean-up so I will post it on Friday. Granted, we didn't come anywhere near the 2007 sign-ups I had envisioned, but I think the contest really has helped get the word out.
While on the subject of Dulaan (amn’t I always?), Norma forwarded an interesting question to me this morning. I thought I’d post the question and the answer in case anyone else was wondering the same thing.
Q: I was wondering if the things we make go to the street kids or to those lucky enough to live in orphanages? Based on the photos of the distribution of last year's things, it looked as if the orphanages were the main recipients. Of course, I'm sure the needs there are tremendous and distribution to the "street" kids might well present a problem. But I'm curious.
A: First, the children in the orphanages are the street children. In fact, the "One Steppe at a Time" movie contains footage of F.I.R.E. volunteers meeting a child on the street—who has been sleeping in a doorway with a cement step as his pillow, and has been singing to make a living—and taking him to an orphanage, and bathing, clothing, and feeding him, and that's how it all starts.
Secondly, by coming to the orphanage (which might be more appropriately termed a “shelter”), the children don’t magically leave their "street lives" or their “street selves” behind them because, for example, some of the girls have STD's from being abused. Although they have a roof over their heads and are being taken care of, they still have physical and emotional challenges. (For a better understanding, see this page which contains specific stories about the children who live or have lived at the Lotus Children’s Centre orphanage.)
Thirdly, the orphanages/shelters aren't formal, state-supported or state-run organizations, they are charitable organizations run by volunteers, and are funded by donations. The clothes we give them frees up money for them to buy food, milk and other necessities, and allows them to be prepared to clothe any new children that come in.
Lastly, above and behond the orphanages, F.I.R.E donates many items to families living in the unheated and crowded yurt (ger) villages that have sprung up around the city, and goes directly out into the streets and into the remote countryside to make donations to whomever they find, men, women, children, usually the poorest of the poor. To illustrate, here are pictures taken by Meredith of families living in gers and who received clothing from F.I.R.E.
Enough seriousness and soap-boxing for now. It's making me break out in hives. Off to neaten up the spreadsheet, and to remove from the Suggested Patterns page two patterns which the company is now charging for. Argh.