Knit for Peace
Knit for Peace is a UK-based charity that grew out of projects developed in Rwanda and India, which brought together women of traditionally hostile communities (Hutu and Tutsi war widows in Rwanda and Muslim and Hindu women in the slums of Delhi) to knit clothes for street children and orphans. We paid the knitters and distributed the clothes through local NGOs.
The funds came from the Good Gifts Catalogue (another of our initiatives). Knitters in the UK asked if they could knit for those in need, and we discovered there was a huge need for knitters to have someone to knit for. Once we said we would distribute donated knits, we found we were inundated.
Here at Knit for Peace, we believe that knitting is good for people in all sorts of ways. As well as being fun and therapeutic, knitting brings people together and gives a way of helping others in need, providing benefits both to the knitter and the recipient. Based on our experience with developing Knit for Peace over the last few years, we have learned that knitting is extremely important as an activity that can be carried out right into extreme old age and helps improve long-term health.
Our policy is to encourage people to give, whether it is time or money. So, we set about finding outlets. We now distribute regularly to over eighty outlets, including hospitals, women's refuges, refugee drop-in centres, prisons, community groups, and hospices as well as to developing countries. We never sell the clothes; we send them where they are needed. We also pass on donations of yarn and needles to enable people on low incomes to knit. The operation has grown organically, and we estimate that we have over 11,000 knitters.