A bumper bundle of baby clothes have left Cupar to help some of the world’s poorest people, thanks to the efforts of a ‘close-knit’ local group.
Around 1000 babygrows, hats and blankets were taken to the Zambesi Mission in York this week to be sent on to Malawi, where new mums are often so poor that their babies are wrapped in maize sacks or even newspaper.
The garments were all knited by the Dorcas Group, a band of volunteers who meet every Tuesday afternoon in Cupar Baptist Church.
They were taken to York on Tuesday by the minister, Rev. Tim Power, and his wife Christine, in a van lent by Cupar Ford.
Since the Dorcas Group was founded some 18 months ago, its membership has grown to around 50, and already almost 2000 garments have made their way into Malawian maternity wards.
Mike Beresford, director of the Zambesi Mission, said: “We are so thankful for the amazing number of vests, hats and blankets that have been lovingly knitted by the wonderful ladies (and men?) of the Dorcas group based at Cupar Baptist Church.
“This is a real labour of love and compassion by the ladies of Cupar and the surrounding area.
“Zambesi Mission distributes these knitted items to mothers with newly-born babies at six different rural health centres run by our partner in Malawi, the Zambezi Evangelical Church.
“Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, and most of its people have so few possessions.”
He continued: “People sometimes wonder whether there is a need for blankets or vests in an African country.
“It is currently mid-winter in Malawi and it can be surprisingly cold at this time of year. Nevertheless we still hear about children sleeping in maize sacks.
“Please pass on our grateful thanks to everyone who has been involved in creating these fantastic gifts which will make such a difference to mothers and their babies in Malawi. It is truly heart-warming and we are overwhelmed by their generosity”.
Tim and Christine were so moved by the love and effort that went into making the baby clothes that this time they decided to take them to York personally rather than use a courier service.
But there was just one problem - there were so many that they feared their car wouldn’t be big enough.
That was when Cupar Ford stepped in.
When he heard about the trip, director Graham Close came to the rescue with the offer of free use of one of the company’s hire fleet of Transit vans.
“We are truly grateful” said Tim.
‘The costs of transportation to Malawi amounts to about 25 pence per item.
“The Dorcas Group raises funds from within the group and gratefully receives contributions towards costs.
“We’ll be sending just over £200 with the items and if we’d had to hire a van this would have seriously dented that amount.”
Meanwhile, anyone is welcome to join the Dorcas Group, which meets every Tuesday afternoon between 2pm and 4pm. Donations of wool or funds towards transportation are also very welcome.
Said founder member Maureen Ramsay: “The best thing about the Dorcas Group is meeting and sharing with others who enjoy sharing what they have to make a difference to others less fortunate than us.”