North West Migrants Forum

Darn generous…Square knitters donate array of colourful garments to Migrants Forum

LITTLE members of the North West Migrants Forum needn’t worry about going cold this winter following a hugely generous donation from The Derry Square Knitters.

The talented craft group dropped off bags of lovingly handmade clothing items to the Migrants Forum’s new premises at Waterloo Place this week.

Everything from blankets to cardigans to trousers, booties and knitted toys were handed over, much to the delight of families from all over the world who now call Derry home.

Derry Square Knitters was established seven years ago by Mary Hunt and Aideen Hughes in response to the heartbreaking images of two-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s body washed ashore on a beach in Turkey. The Syrian toddler’s family had been attempting to reach Europe by sea when their boat capsized.

Siobhan McNally of the Derry Square Knitters presenting bags of handcrafted items to North West Migrants Forum staff members Aynaz Zarifmahmoudi and Evangelia Kasmeti with a little help from toddler Halumi.

Over the years members of the Square Knitters have worked tirelessly to help families in migrant camps in Greece as well as those living in Afghanistan which has been under Taliban rule since 2021.

Through their donation to the North West Migrants Forum they have provided very welcome support to women and children from a wide range of countries including Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen and South America.

Thanking those responsible for knitting the goods, Director of Programmes at the Migrants Forum, Lilian Seenoi Barr, said, “We are overwhelmed by the generosity that has been shown to our families by the Square Knitters.

“The vast array of items they have presented us with will go a long way to keeping children, some of which haven’t even been born yet, warm as we move out of the summer and into the chillier evenings.

Pedro Sanchez and Katarine Rodriguez from El Salvador picking up some knitted items for their soon-to-be-born baby. Katarine is due to give birth in November.

“It is a fantastic gesture and it goes right to the heart of what community actually means.

“We are so grateful and hopefully we will be able to repay the Square Knitters with a reciprocal act of kindness in the future.”