Guest Post by Adam Thomson, International Programs Director for Krochet Kids International
Over the last 5 decades $2.3 trillion of aid has been poured into the developing world, yet more people live on less than $2 a day now than fifty years ago.
In 2006 my friends and I started out on a journey to figure out why this was the case. It took us all over the world until we found our answer in an internal displacement camp on the outskirts of a town in Uganda called Gulu. What Franklin, a camp leader in his 70’s, told us was all too simple, “We want to work. We are relying on humanitarian aid like a baby relies on mother’s milk. I want to work so that I can provide for my own family.”
It’s a tragic metaphor when you think about it. Here’s one of the most resilient men in the world, having survived 25 years of rebel warfare in his backyard, and yet he likens himself and the people he’s entrusted to care for to babies. They are dependent upon others for their every need.
Franklin isn’t alone in this sentiment. Across the globe people are fed up with the damage that handouts are causing. They are tired of being dependent on organizations for food, water, clothing, education and occasionally, if the situation is bad enough, all of the above. They are ready to build their productive capacities, invest into their futures and take control of their lives.
In 2007 we created Krochet Kids Intl. to partner with the poor and accomplish our mission statement: “to empower people to rise above poverty”. We designed a unique model that equips women with the assets, skills, and knowledge to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. With this investment into true empowerment we are breaking the cycle of poverty and, subsequently, the dependence on humanitarian aid. The result is long lasting and sustainable change that is being facilitated by the previously poor of the world.
We call our model “holistic”. We provide a job-based development program that incorporates education and mentorship to contextualize the resources to each individual’s needs. Through the combination of these tools we are equipping the women we work for with the physical capital and the knowledge to change their circumstances by starting their own locally sustainable careers.
In our recent blog series entitled “Empowerment: Our Model Unpacked” I give a more in-depth explanation for why the women we work with are changing their lives in such radical ways and how we are closely tracking this progress. We hope this helps shed a little more light on our development theories and the cause behind our company. Read more here.