Improving the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi!
Knit Around the World is an 501(c)3 pending non-profit that is dedicated to helping people living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi, a country in Sub-Saharan Africa, through the use of knitting and knitting circles to provide both emotional support and a source of income. As the founder, I have volunteered in Malawi previously and saw the difficulties of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, much more so than those living without the disease.
Imagine having a life-threatening illness where you can't tell anyone for fear of being ostracized from your community, outcast by your family, and living on the fringe of society with little means of improving your life. That is the stigma related to HIV/AIDS, and causes fear and panic from those who are unaware of the facts. Without a job, land, and education you would have an incredibly difficult time getting access to medication, food, water, housing, and clothing. You'd have little to no encouragement to keep persevering in life. Knit Around the World wants to change that and this is how you can help.
The Life Changing Impact
Our mission is to teach individuals living HIV/AIDS how to knit so they can sell their products locally as well as sell through Knit Around the World internationally. HIV/AIDS does not just weaken immune systems leaving people vulnerable to other diseases, it permeates every facet of their daily lives. By teaching these individuals how to knit we are providing them with a means of income that will help provide them with food, water, housing, medicine, clothing, education and confidence. By creating knitting circles these individuals will have a support group that will provide them with the emotional wherewithal to keep fighting a hard and very often deadly battle. Participants in the knitting circles will see that they are not alone and gain a safe space to feel free to talk about living with HIV/AIDS, in addition to learning a marketable skill that has been shown to reduce stress.
This trip is life changing for each future knitter; they know that you care enough about them to help them have the opportunity to improve their own life. You are empowering them to live their own dreams. Our goal is not just to improve the lives of these individuals, but their community as well. Knit Around the World looks to provide them with a means of educating their community about HIV/AIDS and prevention, as well as by using local resources to continue their knitting.
Be the Change
Like the proverb "If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime," we want to provide the foundation for real change. All of the funds from this campaign will be used for to pay for our flagship project, not the perks.
The money will:
- Pay for tickets and housing to get 3 knitters to Lilongwe, Malawi to teach knitting to a group of individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
- It will allow us to bring suitcases full of yarn, knitting needles, and instructions for teaching.
- It will help provide transportation to a central location for knitters to meet.
- It will help with start-up funding for the group until they are able to fund themselves through the sale of their knitted items.
- It will help pay for a local translator.
To thank you for helping support our cause here are some of the perks you can receive:
- Get a Shout Out on our website
- 4 Postcards from Malawi and a 2014 calendar with pictures from the trip
- A pattern named after you and that first product
- Dinner with the founder
What if we don't reach our goal?
In the event that we don't reach our goal I will delay the trip until the funds are raised. Currently we are planning to go to Malawi for the month of August. Any additional funds that are raised will be added to the existing start-up capital for the knitting group and to help assist with the administrative costs of running Knit Around the World.
I am really excited about starting this new life dream and adventure. I started knitting in 2005 and quickly became addicted. I knit every day, barring that I'm out of town and even then I bring knitting with me. Knitting remains a fun and stress relieving activity for me, but I have also been knitting for charities for a few years now. I got my Masters in Social Work in 2010 and have been looking for ways to help the international HIV/AIDS community ever since. It was suggested to me to bring two of my loves together, knitting and helping the international HIV/AIDS community. This is just the beginning. I have two great knitters coming with me to Malawi in August to help teach knitting. I want to express my gratitude for your interest in Knit Around the World and for your assistance in helping make my dream come true. I also want to note again that I will be paying for the perks out of my own pocket so that all the money raised can go straight to Knit Around the World.
Other Ways You Can Help
Don't have the funds to financially help Knit Around the World? There are other ways you can help! Please use our social media tools to share our campaign to others so that they might be able to contribute. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss other ways you can contribute such as yarn and knitting needle donations.