I am always amazed at the way that crochet helps people’s lives in so many different ways. At a simple level it provides the average crafter with a stress-relieving creative diversion. And then there are ways that it seriously improves people lives, such as through the Mismo cielo jewelry project which helps provide a living to HIV+ survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Same Sky is a fair trade company that is designed to empower Rwandan women by providing them with the tools that they need to live self-sustaining lives through gaining a marketable skill and consistent employment. They do this by teaching the women to crochet and make bracelets, which are then sold and the net proceeds of those sales go directly back into the company to provide more Rwandan women with the same opportunity.
Same Sky was founded in 2008. It specifically works to assist HIV+ women and women with AIDS who were survivors of genocide. These women were exposed to AIDS as a direct effect of the sexual assaults they experienced during the period of genocide. During this time they also lost their husbands and other male relatives, leaving them facing poverty once the genocide was over. Same Sky aims to reverse this situation, giving the women back their dignity and their self-esteem through crochet-based entrepreneurship.
Same Sky is just one program like that in which ganchillo plays a role in improving entire societies through entrepreneurial opportunities. Another example that I looked at previously on this blog was Escama Studio, which helps out impoverished women in Brazil. Do you know of any other crochet-based fair trade programs such as these?