Ecuador, Craft Aid International

In 2018 Rope continued to follow God’s call to seek out new partners.  We are excited to share with you our latest new partner, who we felt called to invest in, in 2018.

With Rope’s support, Craft Aid International has developed a new project in Santo Domingo, Ecuador.  The project works with people with disabilities, seeking to provide them with craft based skills so they can support themselves and their families and providing them with fellowship and biblical input so they can make friends and know their value and worth in Christ.  Statistics indicate that 10-15% of the population in Ecuador have disabilities, however, there is a huge stigma attached to having a disability, leading to social exclusion. With little or no vocational training being offered, most will face a life of poverty.

Over 2018 and 2019, Craft Aid are working with 24 people with disabilities, training and equipping them to be skilled artisans, capable of producing high quality craft work.  By offering regular bible studies, discipleship classes and fellowship activities, they are hoping they will make friends with other trainees and establish a mutually supportive community.  Our partners recognise that addressing deep rooted societal attitudes is tough and in the long term, they will use social media and the printed press to share stories of their trainees with the wider community.  Their annual open day aimed at key influencers – government representatives, employers and church leaders – will also help to showcase the trainees’ work and break down pre-conceptions.

In 2018, the team were able to train 12 people in a variety of craft based techniques – lino and screen printing, jewellery and paper making from plant fibres and recycled materials.  The trainees were particularly adept at producing paper and as a result the project now had customers from high-end craft shops in Quito and in the UK.  The trainees have opened bank accounts and registered as self-employed.