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Change does not depend on modern technology. There’s nothing modern about knitting needles – two sticks, essentially. But knitting needles lifted 45 families in Bolivia out of abject poverty.
When the rich tin mines in Bolivia closed, in the late 1980s, miners simply left in search of new jobs, abandoning their wives and children. Many of these women ended up on the streets of the city of Cochabamba. All through the Andes, women knit soft alpaca wool into sweaters and shawls.
These women had knitting skills. But no markets.
Enter a Canadian connection. Volunteers brought some of their beautiful hand-knit garments to Canada. Where Beverley Edwards-Sawatzky saw them. By organizing annual sales -- in Edmonton, Calgary, Cranbrook, and now here in Lake Country – she has been able to funnel close to $1 million to the women of the Minkha cooperative.
This is the global economy at work.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: knitting, Bolivia, Minkha, Edwards-Sawatzky, global economy