Thursday, September 29, 2011

being here, doing this

First off, we have some exciting news.  Because the Kickstarter hats sold beyond our expectations, we were able to hire five more ladies!  They started working today and it was fun to welcome them to the program.


{Original ladies making hats while the new ladies learn the machine.}

Three of Blake's bosses are in town this week (not as scary as it sounds).  These are guys who started Krochet Kids a few years ago with no idea where it would go, but they had big dreams.  They wanted to help women in Uganda who wanted desperately to work, but couldn't find employment.  Now their dream has been realized in another country and this was their first time to see firsthand what was happening in Peru and, most importantly, meet the ladies of Krochet Kids Peru.  

Monday morning was such a blessing for me.  We sat with the ladies and each of them told their story to the KKi guys.  This was the first time I heard them tell their own stories.  It was beautiful.  All of the ladies talked about how they had been praying for work.  Most of them have health issues.  They all were living meal to meal and trying to make enough money during the day to put food on the table that night.  Some of the ladies are single mothers and others have completely unsupportive spouses/partners.  Some are illiterate.  Every single one of them said that they have never been able to find an employer who let them bring their children to work and that this has been the main barrier for them in staying employed.  

{Tyler watching one of the ladies' babies.}

I am already overwhelmed by my love for these ladies.  Last week Jacqui said she was quitting the program.  She lives in a very small shack that holds only a stove, small table and bed with her two year old daughter and boyfriend (who currently doesn't have a job).  She is 19 years old.  She comes home from work and makes dinner for her family.  She also spends her Saturdays and Sundays helping her father sell tamales.  There are some family issues that made Jacqui want to give up.  She stopped coming to work and sent a message through the other ladies that she needed to quit.  

We knew we weren't giving up on her but didn't know what to do.  We always want to respect not only our ladies, but their families.  Jacqui has been dealing with her family for 20 years now.  We are new to the situation.  We don't want to make a bad situation worse by our actions.  After praying about it, Blake decided to go to her house and talk to her.  Blake simply asked her how we could help.  Jacqui described her situation and the issues she was having at home.  Blake explained the benefits of Jacqui having a steady job to her boyfriend and assured Jacqui that we could work with her and find solutions to her problems.  


Thankfully Monday morning Jacqui came back to work.  We all got a little teary eyed welcoming her back.  I just have so much hope for her.  She has her whole life ahead of her and I know she can use her job at KKp to change her life and the life of her daughter.  When Jacqui was sharing her story with the KKi guys she said she wasn't going to come back to work, but after Memo (Blake) showed up at her house and talked to her she knew she wanted to come back.  Tears.  I'm just so thankful for this opportunity and that we have the privilege of walking alongside these ladies and loving them.  And they are already sharing so much love with us.  I know it's going to be a long road with lots of setbacks, frustrations, and disappointments, but at least we're on the road and we're all ready to fight together.  Stories of redemption are being written right before my eyes and I'm just really, really grateful this week to be here, doing this.


{As you can see in the top picture, there isn't much for kids to do at our program, but Tyler finds ways to keep herself entertained.}

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