Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A heartwarming yarn...

A few weeks back we shared with you the story of Franck, a young man whose life-saving surgery was paid for thanks to the efforts of nimble-fingered Money for Madagascar supporters and their exotic woolly creations.
This lemur changes lives!
 For several years this group of unsung heroes have worked tirelessly to produce and sell knitted Lemurs on behalf of Money for Madagascar. Proceeds from sales of these beautiful items have then been used to fund critical operations for some of Madagascar’s poorest and most vulnerable children and young people. 

The Surgery Fund was born in 2006 when a generous MfM donor funded an operation to correct the
The first beneficiary of the Surgery Fund
cleft palate of a baby from a very poor family that had come to the notice of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Antananarivo. The following year the Hotter Shoe Company sponsored Alan Dart to create a knitting pattern of a ring-tailed lemur which is exclusive to Money for Madagascar. Soft toys made from this pattern are now sold and form the main source of income for the Surgery Fund. This enables us to fund one or two urgent operations per year for needy children from the Sisters’ social centre in the capital. For the most part we fund operations for such things as cleft palate or hydrocephalus (water on the brain) for young children but, as our previous blog entry details, the most recent operation was on a 23 year old ex-street child who was rushed into hospital with acute appendicitis and had no means of paying for treatment.

and her daughter Helen
Dorothy Devereux
The knitted lemurs have been sold as far away as Australia, Canada and the USA and the people who knit them deserve a book all to themselves ! Dorothy Devereux’s beloved daughter Helen died from cancer at the young age of 37. Helen was a well-known virologist who was passionate about wildlife and had visited Madagascar not long before the cancer first appeared. Helen’s parents now run a “Rainforest Centre” ( in West Wales and her mother Dorothy has organised a whole group of supporters to knit lemurs which she sells to the general public. Dorothy herself has knitted 47 lemurs to date ! She commented that “Helen would be so pleased to be helping the poorest people in Madagascar.”

Margaret Jurenovkis and Mary Ley from Dudley in the West Midlands have knitted 86 lemurs, in all the colours of the rainbow, between them in the past three years, and Margaret Cole of Peterborough and Pat cattle of Rickmansworth have made 40 and 30 respectively. The lemurs they produce are then sent to Dorothy who sells them in her shop in Wales.
All told our lemur-knitters have raised over £3000 to date. In this blog much mention has rightly been made of the inspirational efforts of the runners, singers, hikers, waders and cyclists who are giving their all to support MfM’s 25th anniversary year. Today we would also like to express our enormous gratitude to our close-knit (pun intended and apologised for!) community of lemur-makers who continue to give of their time, skill and patience to help some of the poorest people on the planet. THANK YOU ALL!

If you are interested in buying a knitted lemur or, better still, knitting lemurs in support of the Surgery Fund then please contact us at:

See below for a picture gallery of some of our inspirational lemur knitters:

Margaret Jurenovkis and Mary Ley hard at work

Margaret Cole - another of our champion knitters

MfM Coordinator Theresa surrounded by friends

Sister Anamama of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd social centre