A simple knitted square can change a life!

The TIAO program provides blankets to orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa, and raises awareness of their plight. Since 2009, St. Paul’s Leaskdale has sent thousands of knitted or crocheted squares to make into blankets for children who need them. 

This project is now focused in Malawi, where groups of widows assemble the squares into blankets. The Emmanuel International team and the Widows’ Welfare program of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Malawi, work together to facilitate the program . In the past two years we have sent about 10,000 squares to Malawi.

Once a year, we  raise funds to mail these squares. Our annual cost for postage is $3,000. Special envelopes are provided for your donations from St. Paul’s Leaskdale. These can be returned any time during the year.

We are excited to announce the new name of our program. To encourage Malawians to have ‘ownership’ of this project, the local sewing ladies were asked to come up with a name for the blanket program. They chose ‘Tilere Ife Ana Ovukita’ (TIAO), which means We Care for Needy Children.

After two years in Malawi, we are barely getting started. Both the need and the potential are great, and the program is being greeted with great joy and enthusiasm in Malawi.


If you knit or crochet, please help us by making 8” squares. These can be left at St. Paul’s Leaskdale for mailing (please include a note with your name).


  • Use worsted weight (double knitting) or equivalent, acrylic or wool
  • Knit or crochet 8″ squares leaving a 20″ tail of yarn when ending off
  • Please wind tail into a ‘butterfly’ and attach to square with a stitch
  • Knitting: approximately 32 stitches on 5mm needles (or as needed for 8″)
  • Crochet: approximately 24 single crochet on 5mm hook (or as needed for 8”)
  • Garter stitch, single crochet or pattern in a close weave for warmth
  • Kids love bright colours – plain or stripes…have fun with this

DONATIONS of yarn are always welcome. Preferred yarn is worsted weight acrylic in BRIGHT colours. We also welcome yarn leftover from your projects.
SPREAD THE WORD – tell your knitting friends about TIAO.
PLEASE PRAY – for our mission and the children of Malawi

Thank you to all who have supported this mission over the past several years: the wonderful people who made squares, those who donated yarn, or contributed funds to help get the squares mailed to Africa.

For further information on this mission, please contact Anne Powell at 905-852-5450 or kapowell@sympatico.ca.