Happy Jubilee Spree Moms

Jubilee Spree’s story is a fun one to tell.  Jubilee Spree was built from the passion to empower and equip women and girls living in a remote, rural village in Kenya who have extraordinary strength and ambition but few means to realize their potential. I met these ladies while working as a volunteer with Jubilee Village Project (www.jubileevillage.org), a non-profit organization determined to help villagers in Kager, Kenya, rise above poverty and become self-sustaining.

One day as I chatted with a few village ladies, Gladys bent to the side, reached down to a sack on the floor and pulled up a hank of yellow yarn. It was attached to a crochet hook and about six inches of completed work. WHOA!  How does a poor woman in a remote Kenyan village get yarn, much less a crochet hook and instructions on how to crochet? I still don’t know how she learned, but some kind person passing through had given Gladys the yarn and hook years ago. She had just decided she might be able to make something which could be sold for cash. Gladys had shown she could take initiative using what she already had – no loans from the project, no big hoopla – just do the work and get paid for it. Elegantly simple and exactly the kind of initiative we had been praying for in Kager. And that’s how Jubilee Spree was born!

If one woman can learn to crochet, many women can learn. Learn they did, with Gladys’ fervent teaching. The quality of their work quickly became good enough to appeal to the American market, and hats were shipped to volunteers in Indiana who embellish each one with yarns, ribbons, bows and other cool things which make each one unique.

Bottom line: Women in Kager now earn money to feed their families, pay children’s school fees and even save a little.  They have been equipped to produce a quality product, and are paid a fair wage for their work. This simple initiative is changing the face of this small village – PLUS 10% of the sales go toward funding a vocational program for Kager’s girls now in their final year of high school.  They too are learning to crochet which will provide them income after they graduate. There are no jobs in Kager, so this is one concrete way they can break the cycle of poverty and get a solid start on becoming self-sustaining. It’s all good news!

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