While this trip was just a fun visit with friends, I was excited to get the chance to witness the work the Goodfellows are doing here in Peru with Krochet Kids. I’ve been a fan of Krochet Kids for a long time. We have some other friends who were involved in started the organization in Uganda, and when they decided to branch out into Peru, Blake and Sarah felt called to move their family here to get this business off the ground. Krochet Kids has a simple but genius model: impoverished women are employed to make beanies and scarves that are designed to appeal to an upscale US market, so that the women can earn a good wage. Krochet Kids hats are now sold at Nordstroms and many other boutiques. I am a huge fan of their hats – especially on days I don’t feel like doing my hair. I’ve seen their products in stores and bought several items, so it was fun to see the place they are produced. When women enter the program, they initially spend time in a training room, learning how to use the machines and making sure that the job is a good fit for both parties. Once they are officially employed, they have job stability, as well as classes on finances, budgeting, and running their own business. They are also paired with a mentor to help with social issues. Many of the women have been involved in domestic violence or other situations, so the program seeks to help them with any issues that might impede their financial independence. The working environment at Krochet Kids is incredible. They have a bright warehouse and there is a lot of laughter coming from the room. It’s clearly a culture of encouragement for these women. Here is Jafta modeling the Rainier beanie. Krochet Kids is branching out with some new products . . . these are some fabric samples. Blake gave us a primer on how the wool goes from spool to fabric to beanies. India is wearing the Marie scarf in front of piles of Peruvian wool thread that will soon be made into hats. Krochet Kids is able to source their materials locally, which means even more jobs here in Peru. Each beanie is hand-signed by the woman who made it, so you can look at the Krochet Kids website and read that woman’s story. Here is India meeting the woman who made her hat. The Peru headquarters is located in the Chorrillos district of Peru, where most of the employees live. It is a very impoverished area on the outskirts of Lima. Most of the homes are shanty-style with no plumbing or electricity. Childcare is often a huge barrier for women to find employment. Krochet Kids offers childcare in a building nearby, so that women can bring their kids to work. To learn more about the Goodfellows and the work they are doing in Peru, check out their blog or the video below. They raise their own salary from donations in order to do this work, in case you are interested in partnering with them. Krochet Kids products are available online and would make a fantastic and meaningful Christmas gift. They have hats and scarves for adults and children. Also, if you want to further support Krochet Kids, they are in the running with 25 other finalist for a million dollar Citibank loan. Between Nov. 27th & Dec. 4th, you can vote for Krochet Kids at this link.