Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Sanctuary Home’

I grew up taking my education for granted.

Well, not entirely for granted – I always loved school, especially English class, and it was absolutely expected that I’d do well in high school (I did) and then go to college (I did, and loved that too). Thanks to my parents (and my status as a white, middle-class American), I managed all of the above with no financial sacrifice and certainly no social risk on my part. I went on to earn a master’s degree, with a little financial sacrifice – but nobody ever told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t get more education because I am a woman.

However – as you certainly know – there are millions of girls in the developing world who struggle for every single scrap of education they can get. Most of them are expected to marry young, or drop out of school to help their families. Many are at risk for sex trafficking, HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. And all of them would benefit immensely from education.

The good news: there are many programs out there that work with young girls to keep them healthy, safe, unmarried and in school for as long as possible – ideally, until they’re adults who can decide for themselves when to marry and have children, and/or whether to have a career (and what kind). I’m writing this post as part of the 2011 Girl Effect blogging campaign, and the Girl Effect website has linked up with various programs supporting education for girls – but I’d also like to highlight two organizations close to my heart, because they are run by friends of mine: Eternal Threads and Sanctuary Home for Children.

Eternal Threads, founded by Linda Egle, works with women in developing countries, who use their handicraft skills to generate income for themselves, their children and their villages. Their partner in Nepal works with girls rescued from or at risk for sex trafficking, teaching them to knit and sew, and their partner in Thailand works with rescued girls and refugees, teaching them to make jewelry, so they can make a better life for themselves. They also work with women in India, Madagascar and Afghanistan – and they are starting new projects all the time. In just a decade, these projects have made an enormous difference for hundreds of women in the developing world. (And their products are beautiful – check out their online store.)

I’ve written before about my friend Amanda’s project, Sanctuary Home for Children – an orphanage in Tenali, India, which started in 2006 with 30 children and now houses nearly 100. Many of the children are orphans, and others have family members who can’t care for them. All of them are in dire straits financially, and in danger of having to live on the street when they come to SH. About half of them are girls who gain several years of safety, education and good health by living at SH. Several of the girls have now completed their secondary education, or received vocational training in sewing, and all of them have learned to read and had a safe place to live and enjoy their childhood – a rare thing for many girls in the developing world.

I may have taken my education for granted – but I can guarantee you that the girls helped by Sanctuary Home, Eternal Threads, and other like-minded organizations will never do so. Whether you buy products from Eternal Threads, donate to support the work of Sanctuary Home, or simply spread the word about supporting the education of girls, you will be making a real, tangible difference in these girls’ lives.

Read Full Post »

I am a semi-seasonal knitter. Contradiction in terms, I know – but I don’t stop knitting altogether in the summertime. I like to have a project on the needles, so I can pick it up if I find myself with a seat on the T (a rare boon), or restless while I’m watching Mary Tyler Moore, or simply with twitchy hands in need of distraction. But, I admit, my knitting slows waaaay down in the summer.

That being said, when my friend Amanda sent out a call for knitting help this spring, I knew I’d be knitting up a storm this summer.

Amanda is the founder and stateside director of Sanctuary Home for Children in Tenali, India, an orphanage that now houses about 100 kids. (They started in 2006 with 30 children.) When Amanda and some other SH board members and sponsors visited Tenali last December, they noticed people wrapping up in hats and scarves – though the weather (in the 60s and 70s) felt balmy to them. The orphanage’s operating funds cover basic clothing for the children, but extras can be hard to come by, especially multiplied by 100. So when Isaac, the on-site director, asked if we (the sponsors and board members of SH) could knit some hats for the children and staff members, we all dove into our stashes and pattern books.

Some of the hats I've knitted for SH

I love knitting for SH for all the same reasons I love knitting for Nest Maine and the Innocent Big Knit – it feels good to help people in a  tangible way, and it’s fun to get creative with my stash at the same time. With SH, there’s an added bonus: I feel a personal connection to these kids, especially the two I sponsor, and to Amanda. (I wrote a piece about SH for Halogen TV a while back.)

I’m up to seven hats so far, with an eighth on the needles and a couple more in the queue. My stash bin is lighter, my needles are busy, and I love imagining the SH kiddos wearing our handknits this winter. (P.S.: if you’d like to help support the work of SH, donations are always welcome.)

What craftiness are you engaging in these days?

Read Full Post »

art on my feet

A design by the lovely Amanda, traveling with me on my feet as I walk streets I’ve never seen before. Doesn’t she do beautiful work?

Summer 2009 113

If you haven’t yet, please check out her Web site, Henna Abilene. Half of all proceeds go to Sanctuary Home for Children – a project near and dear to my heart, and a site definitely worth checking out.

Read Full Post »