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Published: 02 June 2018

By Andy Ross

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Gogo Olive

If you want to make a difference, how about this for a sweet and lovely project.

Zimbabwe, the country in which I was born and raised, has had more than its fair share of problems, so it was with surprise and pleasure that we stumbled upon a Scottish based project to do with Zimbabwean knitting recently. Women in the country knit, crochet and sew very well indeed and Gogo Olive, a charity registered in Scotland, works to support some of these women through the sale of knitted items. We have bought a finger puppet lion, who we promptly christened "Shumba" even though he came with the name "Desmond", and Shumba will join the other knitted mascots for our tours. (In the ratehr blurred picture, for which I apologise, Shumba is seated between Mary Jane and Georgia. He is the one who looks rather sad.)

Projects like this have a great deal in common with Shetland knitting. Within recent memory people knitted through necessity here in the islands, to earn a little extra cash for the home. Wilma Malcolmson of Shetland Designer fame told me that she wants to support this project because she understands the issues of knitting for income, particularly as she remembers how hard it was for households until Shetland grew wealthier with the advent of oil. Thanks for introducing us to Gogo Olive, Wilma!

If you would like to support this project go to http://www.gogo-olive.com where you can find links, products and information.