Oxfam are calling on knitters everywhere to turn their knitting needles into poverty fighting needles by creating a 9-inch square for their giant baby blanket - a 'visual petition' they're handing in to world leaders in September 2008, demanding that they honour their promises to make sure mums in poor countries get the maternal health care they need. They're aiming for 250,000 patches - one for every mum who should have survived pregnancy in the last six months.
"For every mum, the day her child is born should be the happiest of her life. Yet, in the world's poorest countries, many mums don't survive to look after their babies. In the next minute, lack of access to health care will claim the life of another mum. In a year, half a million mums die because of poorly equipped hospitals, or because they can't afford to pay health care fees. World leaders have promised to end this travesty by providing enough aid to deliver the medical services needed, but as things stand they're falling well short."
Enter your details on Oxfam's website, and they'll email you a copy of their foolproof knitting guide, which you can download to find out how to take part. After the giant blanket has been presented, it will be dismantled into smaller blankets and sold in Oxfam shops and at festivals. All money raised will go towards Oxfam's work to fight poverty, such as urgently needed midwife training in Yemen.
Get your squares to Oxfam's Leeds office by 31 August 2008. Check out the squares they've received so far on Flickr.