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Fall 2011 Calgary Media Press Release

In 1992, Kathleen Gleeson and Michael and Doreen Kot travelled to Cochabamba, Bolivia and became aware of Amanecer, an organization set up to support children in need. While there, they recognized the incredible knitting talents of Quechua and Aymara women. Sweaters were brought to Calgary and sold at home sales.

Today, there are over 45 incredibly gifted knitters working hard to support themselves and their children. These women are proud of what they do and have committed their efforts to educating their children and grandchildren. The Bolivian women appreciate the positive efforts of Canadian volunteers. There are now fewer families in need.

Dedicated volunteers in Calgary, Edmonton and Cranbrook are committing hours to organize and manage fair trade sales. Through these efforts, all profits are returned to the knitters under the guidance of Save the Children Canada. For the volunteers this work is challenging and rewarding.

Knitting sweaters is the primary source of income for the knitters, however, they still require secondary jobs to sustain themselves. Future goals for Minkha include increasing the number of sweaters sold at each sale and expanding into new markets.

Minkha, means “women working together” and has a loyal following, but it is only with your help that we can get the word

“Shop with a social conscience! Minkha Sweaters, a non-profit volunteer organization, is proud to offer the opportunity to buy a contemporary hand knit designer quality alpaca or cotton sweater, while at the same time supporting an indigenous micro-industry. This knitting cooperative, under the guidance of Save the Children Canada, enables the Bolivian women of Cochabamba to become self-sufficient and to provide education and opportunity for their children.

Sweaters, coats, ponchos, hats and scarves will be available for direct sale. We take custom orders for men and women. Prices range from $20 for a hat to $300 for a coat.