For the 150,000 people with hearing disabilities in Kazkhstan, it can, indeed, be a silent, lonely existence.  Services for the deaf and understanding of support are still a challenge in many areas, particularly those living in poverty. Some grow up never learning any formal sign language because their families are unable to access support. Our Christmas cards in 2016 were made by deaf and hearing impaired young adults. They carefully crafted the cards’ hand-made components, drawing on cultural elements traditional to the region and even the humour with which, despite life’s difficulties, they wonderfully embed in their craft.

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“Those were the years of violence,” said Juliana, a Peruvian woman who works with craft collective Kuyanakuy. She reflected on the bloody internal conflict that raged in parts of Peru in the early 1990s, leaving at least 70,000 people dead. At the height of the violence, Juliana was sheltering 12 families who were forced out of their homes to flee the terror.

Although the conflict has now settled in Juliana’s community, it left deep scars. Women who lived through that time lost husbands, children and beloved neighbours. Many found themselves impoverished without their breadwinner or another steady source of income.

Out of these ashes, a group of women banded together to form Kuyanakuy, a name that means ‘Let us love’: a place where today women survivors of the conflict can meet, support each other, cry together, and work together to create beautiful handicrafts drawing on rich Peruvian artistic traditions and imagery. All the craftswomen are from low-income families and most are illiterate when they join, with little chance of a decent, steady job. Through Kuyanakuy, though, they are now learning to read and write alongside their new-found handicraft skills. As well, of course, this work generates income for them as they care, single-handed, for their families.

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Truckloads of protective equipment for Ukraine and Romania

"The Covid-19 pandemic is pushing Ukraine towards its worst recession in decades - possibly a depression - with devastating consequences for...

read more ...

COURAGE IN CAMEROON

“I am tired of listening to gun shots and seeing lifeless bodies here and there. I just want to go where...

read more ...

SYRIA’S LOST CHILDHOODS

Syria's lost childhoods For young children in Syria, life equals war. “Every Syrian child has been impacted by violence, displacement, severed family...

read more ...

Benin: The multiplier effect in action

Benin: The multiplier effect in action outside   Outside Benin’s bustling major cities, opportunity can be hard to come by. Take Moise, a...

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