Time to dedicate a blogpost to the marvelous women of Ayacucho who knit the LNKnits collection. As I’ve explained to you in my last post, every piece of LNAndes and LNBeanies is handmade in Ayacucho by Peruvian ladies of all ages, offering them an honest income that is up to 3x times more than a local work employer would offer.
What all these ladies have in common is that they struggle with the same difficulties in life. Things that seem so natural and normal to us, but that are far from standard to them. A warm home, good housing, education, … but also even a closet to put their clothes into, a toilet, a shower or toys to play with for their youngest children.The atelier tries to provide work to the poorest or most ‘tragic cases’ (if I can describe it that way) first. Those are the ones who need it the most. Every lady decides for herself how many times a week she would like to check in to start knitting. All the knitting happens at the atelier in Ayacucho. This offers them a nice and cosy work environment.
The ladies do not only knit to earn a human income, they also chat with the other ladies about their situation, their past, and their difficulties. In some way or another they are all very much alike, and by talking about their problems they seem to find a way to cope with their current problems and find the courage to seek for solutions.
Yesterday Griet, Anneleen and I went to visit 3 knitting ladies at their homes, to see in what way the knitting of ‘chalinas (scarves), ‘gorras’ (beanies) or ‘chompa’s’ (vests) has contributed to a better life in some way. Even small changes can lead to big differences in their quality of life.
First stop was at beautiful Hilda’s ‘casa’. Hilda is one of the hardest workers at the atelier. Since she started knitting for LNKnits, about 1 year ago, she was able to build a new kitchen, new sanitary (and very clean it was, I can speak from experience J) and to finance the studies of her son who is studying to become a veterinarian. Such a beautiful family with good future perspectives.Second stop was Adelina, a young mother of 18, who lives with her brother. She is no longer together with the father of her child. It wasn’t easy for her to start knitting at the atelier since she had no experience in knitting or crocheting. But after a couple of months hard work started to pay off. She’s now knitting a couple of days a week, which makes it possible for her to feed her child with good and nutritious food and buy her son, Edgar, some toys to play with.
hird and last visit was at Virginia’s. Virginia, her husband and 4 beautiful children moved from the countryside to the city, namely ‘Ayacucho’, to make it easier for their children to go to school. They used to walk 2 hours to get to school, and yes, 2 hours to get back home… Her husband is a truck driver, who leaves the house at 5AM in the morning and returns at 10PM in the evening. Virginia herself used to work as a road construction worker. This is very very hard labour, almost inhuman. Thanks to knitting and crocheting she was able to pay the mortgage of her house. These are only 3 beautiful stories, the 147 others still need to be told…
What we can summarize here, is that thanks to the growth of LNBeanies and LNAndes the last couple of months, we, you, together, we are able to offer them better living standards and a better future.
Thanks for that.