By McKenzie Hughes, Colorado Christian University Student
As Christians, we are taught to help and empower those around us.
“Christ calls us to solidarity with the poor, but this means more than assistance. It means seeing the poor not as objects or experiments, but as partners and brothers and sisters, as fellow creatures made in the image of God with the capacity to solve problems and create new wealth for themselves and their families. At a practical level, it means integrating them into our networks of exchange and productivity.” –Poverty Cure.1
So many people have a desire to help. There are hundreds of organizations that are working toward helping those in developing countries, so why is half the world still stuck in poverty?
Sometimes, good intentions and desires to help have a negative affect. For example, when Americans donate clothing and shoes to third-world countries, it helps many people that cannot afford those particular products. However, the local clothing and shoe lose business, leading to a decrease in economic growth. So how do we connect our good intentions and desire to help to something that will indeed benefit the people and country in the long-term? Instead of giving away handouts and creating dependence, we need to help people in developing countries make a living and support their families. Good intentions do not end poverty, enterprise and freedom end poverty. Many organizations understand this critical factor and one of them is Krochet Kids.
I purchased a hat from Krochet Kids two years ago thinking that some of the profits would go to help an organization that focuses on helping people in developing countries. When I started to research the mission of Krochet Kids and how the organization was set up, I realized that they were doing so much more. Krochet Kids works to empower people in developing countries to learn valuable and transferable skills.
Kohl Crecelius, one of the founders of Krochet Kids, explains the significance of this by telling what his friend, Stew, taught him after returning home from Uganda.
“Stew told us about a people that had been living in government camps for over 20 years due to a rebel army that had ravaged the north part of the country. Entire generations grew up only knowing the camp and relying solely on the government and aid organizations for their every need. They were sick and tired of being dependent upon these operating bodies and they wanted to work and provide for their own families.”2
It was then that Kohl and his friends realized that what could help these people the most was to invest the time and effort to teach them how to create a product that people would want and buy.
“It was then that we realized the simplicity of crocheting to be its most profound quality. With hook and yarn people could make amazing products. Being paid a fair wage to do so would allow for them, for the first time, to provide for their families and begin planning for the future,” Kohl said. “By teaching these people to crochet, we would be empowering them to rise above poverty.”3
When we use our resources not to just help, but equip others to better their futures, we enable them to rise above poverty and make a difference in their country. Beyond simply teaching skills, Krochet Kids provides a market and demand for the products which connects the product creators to the global market. Through Krochet Kids’ unique brand of social capitalism, over 150 people in Uganda and Peru are working, receiving education, and being mentored toward a brighter future.4
Check out Krochet Kids’ lines for women, men, and children here.
McKenzie Hughes is a senior at Colorado Christian University where she is studying Business Administration and minoring in Management and Political Science. McKenzie currently works in Residence Life and at the Centennial Institute. A Colorado native, McKenzie plans on staying in the area when she graduates while pursuing a career in Higher Education.