I’m a pushover when it comes to cute hair accessories so when I spotted big, friendly, crocheted flowers for sale I knew I had to have one. But this happy hair toy is much more than a charming accessory . . . it’s a powerful tool that is helping another woman break the cycle of poverty and make a new life for herself and her family.
My flower was handmade in Uganda by Winny, a lovely woman whose hobby is singing. (That’s my hobby, too, so clearly Winny and I are kindred spirits.) I know this about Winny because she signed her work. Not only that, I was able to see her photo and send her a thank you note on the Krochet Kids International Web site.
Krochet Kids International is a humanitarian project started by — of all things — three college guys who knew how to crochet. Kohl, Travis, and Stewart have been friends most of their lives; they took up crochet in high school. (They’re sporty dudes who liked the idea of making their own unique “mountain headwear.”) The guys went off to different colleges, but one summer Stewart went to Uganda and when he came home . . . I’ll let Kohl tell the story:
“Stew told us about a people that had been living in government camps for over 20 years due to a rebel army that had ravaged the north part of the country. Entire generations grew up only knowing the camp and relying solely on the government and aid organizations for their every need. They were sick and tired of being dependent upon these operating bodies and they wanted to work and provide for their own families.
It was then that we realized the simplicity of crocheting to be its most profound quality. With hook and yarn people could make amazing products. Being paid a fair wage to do so would allow for them, for the first time, to provide for their families and begin planning for the future. By teaching these people to crochet, we would be empowering them to rise above poverty. We decided right then that we were going to do exactly that.”
And they did.
Today, over 180 women in Uganda and Peru are working, receiving education, and being mentored toward a brighter future. One of those women is Winny, who made my flower. She’s used the money she earns to pull herself and her family out of poverty and is even supporting her younger sister through school . . . all because three college-age guys had a knack with a crochet hook and a desire to help people. As their Web site says, “We believe actions rooted in love bring lasting and powerful change. Our model for love is that of the ultimate servant: Jesus.”
Guys, you couldn’t have a better model.
Learn more about Krochet Kids International at http://www.krochetkids.org/