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Income generation
Feb2017

The woolly way of fighting poverty

Fighting poverty with the sharp end of a knitting needle.

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Compassion Stories

The woolly way of fighting poverty

Fighting poverty with the sharp end of a knitting needle.

In the lush rolling hills of Peru, a knitting revolution is quietly taking place. Poverty is being fought with the sharp end of knitting needle by tenacious women determined to provide for their families. 

Luzmeña is one of these women. The daughter of farmers, Luzmeña spent most of her youth battling poverty and working the land to survive. At 20, she married and had a daughter but despite both her and her husband working, simply providing food every day was a battle. In 2015 when she gave birth to another daughter, Luzmeña declared, “We need to progress. We cannot live like this anymore. We need to move forward, for our girls, for ourselves, and for our family!”

 

Family in rural Peru

 

Hope was at hand in the form of the local Child Survival project and our RESPOND Initiative. Luzmeña was enrolled and it was there she learnt income generation skills including how to knit. She says, “One of the things I am very thankful for, besides knowing God, is that I have been able to learn how to knit ponchos, shawls and blankets. The programme taught me to be more productive, and now I can help my husband from home and spend more time with my girls.”

 

Knitting in Peru

Making ponchos

 

“My neighbours saw me knitting and asked me to knit for them. When I finished, they really liked my work and suggested that I sell in the community fair. I took my ponchos and blankets and people bought them all!” Luzmeña adds. She now earns approximately £24 a week.

By equipping Luzmeña with income generation skills, she now has hope for the future. “Now I can dream, and I pray that my daughters will become great women of God. My dream for them is that they become professionals. Whatever they want to study, my husband and I are willing to help them,” shares Luzmeña.

 

Mum in Peru

 

The humblest of things can often hide the start of greatness. With more than a billion people still living in extreme poverty, it can seem overwhelming to try to find a solution. But in Peru, one solution can be found in a ball of yarn and a pair of knitting needles.

WORDS
Roz Walsh

PHOTOS
Betsy Grandez


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