Knit For Life is a project of empowerment, a small Australian registered charity created from a desire to provide a community of women like you and me with the dignity of sustainable, paid work and the opportunity to support their children with pride, using their talents and skills. Whilst all women and children deserve the opportunities that we in the Western World are privy to, you’ll agree that our world can be a brutal and unfair one. Our knitters in rural Zimbabwe face challenges we in Sydney, Australia, where Knit For Life is headquartered, will never know. Each day in the Chatsworth area of Masvingo Province in rural Zimbabwe where our knitters live and work is a challenge, a struggle to feed, clothe, educate the children, find them water – any water – to drink, to bathe. But kindness is magic as the saying goes, and it is our belief that when people unite, we can inspire and create change, despite the obstacles that are inevitably placed in our path. This is why we Knit For Life.
It is widely recognized that when women are lifted from poverty, the whole community benefits. Zimbabweans suffer from a chronic lack of sustainable and viable employment opportunities and their country remains one of Africa’s poorest nations. Our knitters rely on their Knit For Life knitting income to pay for their children’s schooling and to access the minimal health care and medicines available. Many in the Knit For Life community are HIV positive, some have disabilities. Many of our knitters have taken on caring for elderly parents, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and other children in the community. Currently, depending on the level of orders and sales, Knit For Life is able to provide an income stream for up to 100 knitters, but our dream is to do so much more. Our Zimbabwean Manager, Stella Nyathi tells us she has well over 200 women asking, just waiting to knit with us. If we grow, we can create so many more opportunities.
So, this is where you, mothers, fathers, men, women, businesses, other not for profits and people with big hearts and creative souls are invited to join with us and become woven into our Knit For Life tapestry. This is a big, loud, heartfelt callout to join our Knit For Life family, to help us, help them, together. From day 1, our motto at Knit For Life has been together we can make a difference. We cannot Knit For Life without the mums and grandmas, dads, aunties and friends who stop by our market stalls or jump online and purchase our products for their loved ones. We cannot do it without our wonderful supporters. This year has been be a good one for Knit For Life. Despite the sometimes seemingly overwhelming challenges of working in Zimbabwe, a nation without a viable currency or functioning economy, a country where most infrastructure that once was no longer is, a land from which most NGOs and Not For Profits has departed, and where bureaucratic corruption is rife, we have had moments of great hope which drive our determination to strive even harder to build a better future for the women and children of the Knit For Life community.
Knit For Life has been blessed this year to have found some partners and a donor who is working with us to build a more sustainable future for the community. But there is so very, very much more work to do. On our social media pages, Knit For Life shares photos of our knitters in Zimbabwe, smiling as they knit. These photos serve as a constant reminder to us of the spirit of these women, of the dignity and human right of every person to find rewarding work in a supportive environment. You see photos of children smiling in school uniform, proud to be learning and attending school. Our logo, the face of a lion speaks to their courage, their pride and dignified spirit. The American comedian, Milton Berle once said, ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door’. We invite you to join with us because with your support we are building doors, splinter by splinter, plank by plank, panel by panel. It is these doors that our knitters knock loudly upon and push open, embracing with arms wide every opportunity for a better life. Join us on this rewarding journey of building doors (not walls) for this inspiring community to keep opening. There is no tool more effective for developing a community than empowering its women.
We’d love to hear from you if you have the ability to join us to build opportunities and make a difference. We are always searching for like-minded people to volunteer their talents. Maybe you can assist with marketing our product range, growing our social media presence or online boutique sales. Are you able to adopt a community project and hold a Knit For Life fundraiser through your company’s corporate social responsibility programme? Can your mother’s group, school community or workplace hold a fundraiser or assist Knit For Life in building a better future for this hardworking community? Are you a corporate who can sponsor one of our projects or an influencer who can influence? Do you know someone who would make a wonderful ambassador for our charity? Please let us know.
Of course, be in touch if you have a store that could stock Knit For Life’s bespoke range of handknitted products. We wholesale too and are looking for new stockists both in Australia and internationally. The more stores that stock Knit For Life, the more the knitters can knit! What the knitters desire above all else is the opportunity and ability to work. To knit. To earn an income with dignity.
It goes without saying that we’d love, love, love you to clothe your precious children and loved ones in our lovingly created range of handknits, for them to snuggle with our toys and be cocooned in our blankets. We’d love you to share our story with your friends and families, colleagues and online connections. Together we can make the world, or maybe just a small part of it, kinder, fairer and a better place to raise children. United, we can work towards a more gender balanced sustainable future for children, no matter where we birth them.
Let’s imagine a world where we live together in harmony, where there is inclusiveness and respect for our differences, where we understand the importance of protecting our environment, and where we work together to make the world a better place. Let’s imagine a world like this and believe we can make it happen. Because together we can. And with your support we will.