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HIV+ Rwandan Genocide Survivors Empowered by Crochet

Sada, a crochet artisan with Same Sky

 

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 Same Sky 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 crochet 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?

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Kathryn

San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

2 Comments:

  1. More fair trade crochet

    I love the look of these crocheted covers for exercise balls by a South African group. They don’t just crochet they also use recycled t shirt yarn and what my mother from the North of England would call pegged or rag rugs. The bags this group make look wonderful in the photos I have a friend who has bought bags in this style from South Africa and they are really gorgeous though I not sure if it is the same group. If you are looking for more development/fair trade groups to highlight then I would recommend checking this one out.

    From the blog:
    ” Mielie, provides a regular income to some 50 people (mostly women) who handcraft the products that I design. Wherever possible we use recycled materials.”

    http://fa.mielie.com/index.php?m=06&y=11

    Also on Facebook as “Mielie”

  2. Pingback: Sam Sky Fair Trade Crochet in Action — Crochet Concupiscence

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