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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Craft supplies for Kuwait

Merry Christmas!

You are invited to my house for an evening of Christmas music, hot chocolate and supply gathering!
Where:  my house!  (e-mail if you need the address)
When: Thursday and Friday nights, December 16th and 17th from 7-9pm
Here’s the deal:  I want to collect stuff to make loads of these  fabric flowers.
You may already know that my mom and her husband are halfway through a 2 year job assignment with General Electric that sent them to Kuwait.   My mom has met ladies from all over the world as she sought out a quilting group and knitting group.  One of the quilt members recruited her to volunteer at a woman's shelter.   She teaches basic cooking and baking skills on Mondays and basic sewing skills on Thursdays to a group of about 25 women who are living there.   She is so good at these areas, plus has a compassionate heart that can reach these hurting women and make them smile.  
Kuwait has a serious issue with abusing the "help" that they hire to do housework.  It is so bad that International groups are lobbying the government to make changes and put laws into effect to protect the people who come into their country to work.  The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait has 300 of their girls living in the basement who have run away from abusive employers and are waiting for their paperwork to go back home.  Not every country has an embassy that can shelter their citizens, so this shelter is for the women who have no other place to turn. They are hoping to be approved under the Salvation Army in the next year (which would require the Kuwait government to admit there is a need for funding and support in the country), but in the meantime they are feeding, clothing and sheltering women based on donations alone. 

Each woman has a different story.....but they all started out life in poverty, were offered a job opportunity in a new country and moved far from home for promises of a better life.  One woman was not paid for 6 months and when she approached her employer, they drove 14 nails into her hands and thighs.  Another middle aged woman was working as house maid for a family.  When the parents went away on a vacation, the two teenage boys raped her everyday until she ran away.  Another woman arrived at the shelter pregnant from rape.  She was hoping that her paperwork would NOT come through before the baby was born.....but it did and she was sent back to her family at 7 months pregnant.  These stories and more, I can barely comprehend…

At the shelter, the women are given counseling, love and try to keep busy while waiting to go back home.  They make cookies, sew aprons, and crotchet bags that another volunteer sells at a market to raise a little money.  Because they are working off of donations, they have only one cookie sheet, one sewing machine and one needle.   ONE NEEDLE!!!  That's just wrong.
I know between us all, we could gather up dozens of cookie sheets, but unfortunately, donations from outside of the country really need to be monetary, because packages just don't get through customs. My mom hasn't received any of the packages or mail I've sent. However, she will be in the states over the holidays and I would like to pack her suitcase with as many small, helpful things as possible when she goes back.
I am looking to collect yarn, crotchet hooks, sewing needles, rotary blades, buttons, hair clips and pin backs.
On Thursday and Friday night this week, I will be cutting out squares of scraps of fabric to send over for the ladies to make fabric flowers.  Come keep me company, and I’ll show you what to do.   It’s simple, I promise. I've made a few of these and they are easy, cheap, and pretty!   This is something else that they can sell, feel good about making something pretty, keep their hands busy and distract their minds off of the situations they are pulling out of. 
They crotchet these bags out of plastic garbage bags.  I love that they can take garbage and turn it into something beautiful and useful.


Anonymous said...

Oh Amy, What a great idea and you are so sweet..I'd love to come and help and donate..for all those women and for my wonderful, compassionate, caring sister!! I was wondering what I could do from here and you just gave me a way to help! I will definately be there at least on of the nights, let me know what I can bring!! Love you, A. Cathy

mom said...

You my dear girl are amazing....! And it sounds so chocolate, Christmas music and very very nice people!!!
The girls loved this...and have come up with a ton of ideas as to what to do with them....such a great great idea!

I love you babe!!!


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