Norwegian Moms Are Knitting Scarves For Sick Afghan Babies And It Is So Pure

Tone Mikalsen, Eliane Mackay, and Gry Kristin Seljestad Waage all took to their needles after seeing a picture of a little girl wearing a pink sweater in Afghanistan.

When Red Cross worker Thomas Glass took a photograph of a small baby in a incubator in Mirwais Hospital, Afghanistan, back in November 2016, he noticed her unusual pink sweater — so he asked a nurse about it.

Thomas Glass / ICRC

"She told me that one of her friends in Norway had knitted it, and that whenever she came back to Kandahar she would bring small knitwear for the newborns," Glass said.

His image was used in an article, published by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to highlight the opening of a refurbished pediatric ward in Kandahar province. It's a much-needed facility, as Afghanistan has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Glass sent the picture to his mom in Switzerland, who then shared it with her sister, Tone Mikalsen, in Norway.


Mikalsen told BuzzFeed News that she loves knitting and when she heard from her nephew, she knew this would be a good way to help. "We knew it was going to the right place and directly to the babies. It is a wonderful project and I am very proud of my nephew who asked me to be a part of it."

Mikalsen then recruited her friend, Gry Kristin Seljestad Waage, to "knit as many tiny-sized hats, sweaters, blankets, socks, and plush toys as they could,” Glass told BuzzFeed News. "My other two aunts also contributed, with one actually learning how to knit just so she could contribute to this project."


Glass returned to Afghanistan after a short Christmas break last year — bringing with him the first batch of knitted sweaters, hats, and scarves.


Glass explained that a small network of five other women were all "knitting away as many sweaters, blankets, hats as they could, and continue to this day."

"I do not have an exact number but at least over 150 knitted sweaters and at least 50 hats so far, plus tiny socks, plush toys, and blankets," he said. "It is a personal and family-driven project on a small scale but that is bringing big smiles all the way from Norway and Switzerland to Afghanistan."

And here are the results...


The hospital helped Abdullah, who's almost 1, recover from vomiting and diarrhea.

Bashir Ahmad, who's less than 12 months old and from Helmand, had to be brought in because the local village didn't have the right medical equipment.


Mustapha, 3, was admitted because he has breathing problems caused by the harsh Afghan winters.


Wahidullah, 1, from Kandahari district of Dand, had a measles infection.


His mum told the ICRC she was worried her son was dying — he was also admitted to the nutritional ward.

And this is Gul Suma. Her mom was having trouble feeding her, so she was brought into the nutritional ward, where she's now much stronger.