Thursday, October 16, 2008
Early this spring I was investigating the idea of starting my own business. I was looking into the idea that it might be possible to use my love of all things yarny to support my family and make an impact in the world. I had a vision that either the items I made or the money I earned could be put to a better use than lining my pockets, but I didn't know what that was. I came across an organization called Krochet Kids International that was doing something very cool... something much like what I'd like to do!
KKI works in Uganda to teach skills to women vulnerable to poverty and disease. First they are taught to crochet. The items they make can be sold for a profit which gives them a sustainable source of income when they graduate from the program. They are also taught personal budgeting, financial saving, and small business management, with the hope being that the skills they are given will provide them the ability to build a small business of their own handiwork to provide for their families.
The women who are currently a part of the program are all single mothers or balancing the running of their own households and their extended families' as well. They are women who have been displaced and, in many cases, orphaned by war. They are women who live lives in conditions that many of us can not imagine even exist. They are women who love God, love their families, and love their country. They are women just like you, or your mother, or your sister, or your wife.
So how does this impact you? In the words of Pamela, one of the women who is a part of KKI's program, "I want the American people to love us and they should pray for us as well so that we have peace in Northern Uganda." In addition to loving and praying for these women, you can also invest in their lives in a tangible way. KKI has a store that sells actual items these women make. Each hat is handmade by one of the 10 women currently involved in the program. Each hat is a piece of a woman's life. Each stitch is made with love and a hope that their circumstances can change. I know many of you have made the commitment to have a "handmade Christmas" - where all the gifts you give are handmade by you or someone else - why not add a Krochet Kids hat to your gift giving this year? You will not only be giving to the recipient of the hat, you will be giving to the lives of women who have a much greater need than many of us can imagine! If you don't want to purchase a hat, check out their site for other ways to get involved!
"How does my purchase support these women?" you ask. The woman who are a part of KKI are given a salary for making the hats. Your purchase supports the mission of Krochet Kids International, making it possible for them to provide the salary for the women and expand their programs to include more women in the future. "Proceeds from hat sales are infused back into the very communities from which they came in order to promote further development and aid in Northern Uganda. We seek to aid the continued efforts of education, healthcare, and clean water through the work of various local organizations." (from the KKI website)
Disclaimer: I do not work for (nor was I solicited for promotion from) Krochet Kids International. I honestly believe in this 501(c)(3) non-profit Christian organization and its impact on the lives of the Ugandan women. In my opinion this organization is a great model for how we can use our giftings to promote health and hope around the world! All of the information I have presented here comes from their website (much of it from this page). I cannot verify how the funds of your purchase impact the global community. Instead I am going on faith that this program is legit and does what it claims to do. Please read the story of how KKI got started and form your own opinion before making any purchases.