Jam Pots And Purls

Jam Pots And Purls is raising funds for a skill share trip to Vanavevhu, a charity based in Zimbabwe working with young people orphaned by AIDS. The project will support the work of equipping these young heads of households with new skills and personal resources essential for them to make their way in a country of 90% unemployment. New skills of preserving the fruit and vegetables that they produce and knitting and quilting will add to their business potential, open up new markets whilst increasing their ability to generate sustainable income.

We did it!

On 30th Oct 2013 we successfully raised £1,267 of £1,200 target with 25 supporters in 35 days


Jam Pots And Purls was set up to respond to a need expressed by Vanavevhu, a charity working with young people orphaned by AIDS in Zimbabwe. These young people have taken on the responsibility of providing for their younger siblings and extended family members.. Vanavevhu has stepped in to provide reliable help with food availability, meeting the cost of utilities, education, training and skill development. Through the work at Vanavevhu these amazing young people are learning market gardening, bee keeping and candle making and are selling their produce on the open market. In a country where there is over 90% unemployment there is a need for young people to be equipped with skills and personal resources to make their way in life and to fulfil their potential.

The aim of this project is to share skills with these young heads of households in Bulawayo, traditional skills that are passed down from generation to generation building a sense of belonging, identity and relationship. I will be sharing the skills of preserving fruit and vegetables and teaching knitting and quilting, skills that were taught to me by my grandmother in an atmosphere of love and security. I hope to share freely, with grace and humility the blessing that was given to me.

 I believe that each one of us is uniquely and wonderfully made, and that God has a plan for each one of us. Vanavevhu has identified the need to help these young people reach beyond the loss and hardships that they have experienced to a future of hope and expectation.

These amazing young people have taken on responsibilities beyond their years and this project aims to support and complement the valuable work being done by Vanavevhu.


The aim is two fold:

  • To preserve excess produce in a way that is marketable, thus increasing their market presence, raising income and expanding business into new areas. 
  • To preserve family stories and memories, bonds and relationships whilst learning new skills that have another potential business outlet.

To do this I need to raise £1200 to fund the trip so that I can share jam, pickle and chutney making skills and to teach knitting and quilting to establish new skills and traditional forms of preserving family history. 


The success of Vanavevhu to date has shown the need for someone to believe in the power of youth, to believe enough to invest time and energy and love. There is the need for the sharing of knowledge, skills and dreams, and to give words of encouragement and heartfelt congratulations when goals have been realised. These young people need adults to fill the gap where their parents would have stood.

This project will add to their business potential and open up new markets, thereby increasing their abilities to provide for themselves and their families. Financial security adds to their feeling of well-being and reduces stress and hardship, increasing options for the whole family.

The need to heal as families, to honour relatives no longer with them and to establish relationship and identity  is a key part to the healthy futures of these families. Learning the skills of knitting and quilting provides a focus for sharing and recording family stories and preserving them in heirloom blankets and quilts, whilst providing another potential business outlet.


To travel to Zimbabwe, initially on a one off skill share trip but with the possibility of further trips if this would benefit the young people.

To equip the young people with new skills and learning in areas where a need has been identified and in a way that complements and supports the work of Vanvevhu.

To raise awareness and funds by seeking sponsorship for the 50 sets of knitting needles that I will be taking and by making and selling preserves under the label Jam Pots And Purls, a name that encapsulates the two strands to the project. These activities will also raise the profile of Vanavevhu and hopefully will bring additional support to this charity.

To give freely of my time, energy and love.

Where will your pledge go?

The money raised will go towards the flight to Zimbabwe, accommodation and living costs during the trip. It will also pay for the yarns, Knitting instruction booklets, recipe folders and preserving equipment that I plan to take with me.

The flight from Newquay to Gatwick has been promised, the knitting needles have been donated by Pony Needles, and the time, energy and love are given freely.

£700 has already been raised through the sales of jams and sponsored stitches.

If the £1200 is raised during the pledge period I will be thanking everyone immediately on the website. The other parts of the rewards will be fulfilled on my return from Zimbabwe

Thank you for visiting this project site.

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