Last updated: May 3, 2018 at 10:59 am
Your knitting can help a grassroots effort to needy folks in Nicaragua through Tikkun Olam Nicaragua
In wealthy countries — like the United States and the United Kingdom — it can be hard to imagine a federal government without the resources to care for its people. For most of us in such secure locations, we envision this as essential. We may even wonder how a nation could possibly function without it.
The answer is often, “quite poorly” — unless generous folks step in to fill the gap. And that’s just what happened in the country of Nicaragua, starting in 2011.
Four organizations banded together to produce the first medical mission of Tikkun Olam Nicaragua. These included Beth Sholom Synagogue in Memphis, TN; Lebonheur Children’s Hospital, also in Memphis; and two separate St. Paul Lutheran Churches, one from Pine Grove Mills, PA and the other from Ann Arbor, MI.
Representatives from these organizations included physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and laypeople. Together, they would offer a general medical clinic for needy folks. In the years since, they have returned to Nicaragua every February to offer medical attention, education, supplies, and more.
Wouldn’t it be exciting to participate in such a mission?
I learned about this group a few years ago, thanks to Ravelry. The group description states, “We need simple rectangular shawls for the ladies we visit on our annual medical mission. The measurement is 4 feet long, 20 inches wide. Acrylic and superwash fibers are best, as these will be utilized as shawls and blankets and will be washed.”
“See the Tikkun Olam Nicaragua page to learn more about our medical mission,” the description continued.
Read on for more!
More about Tikkun Olam Nicaragua
Tikkun Olam Nicaragua provides medical treatment to a part of the world that has little to no access to medical care. Their medical teams travel to remote and rural parts of the country of Nicaragua. Tikkun’s medical teams travel to the villages, or “pueblos,” identified by Nicaragua’s Ministry of Health as being in the direst need of health care.
All treatments, including supplies and medication, are completely free of charge for those who receive it. Follow-up care is handled by local nurses provided by the Ministry of Health. This ensures that once Nicaraguans have received treatment, they will continue to benefit from medical attention.
Treatment includes education in addition to care, to ensure that patients understand how to continue to take part in their own care. Tikkun also offers basic care for orphanages, providing supplies like baby formula and food, clothing, and school supplies. Patients at medical clinics also receive personal supplies.
Finally, Tikkun offers the Nicaraguan Jewish population a chance to worship and participate in religious ceremonies in a way they haven’t been able to do since most of their number fled the country in the 1990s.
You Can Help the Tikkun Olam Nicaragua Mission
This gets us back to how knitters can assist Tikkun Olam Nicaragua with their mission. As stated above, they are looking for simple rectangular shawls. These will be given to the ladies of the pueblos in which the medical teams visit.
Why shawls? These are simple but special articles of clothing that give the ladies not only comfort but just a little bit of beauty in a desperately destitute situation.
As founder Denise wrote, “Picture someone living in a dirt floor shack, with barely food to eat, let alone proper clothing’ or shoes, living on less than $1 a day. The shawls that we are knitting will be hand delivered by our team of medical professionals. I wish you could see the faces of the women as we put them on their shoulders!”
For guidelines, take a look at the Tikkun Olam Nicaragua Ravelry group. Specifically, you’ll want to read the first page of the Welcome and Introductions thread. Here, you’ll find important information about colors, yarns, and sizing. You’ll also find out how to get the mailing address for sending shawls.
This is an incredible opportunity to put a smile on the face of a woman who has absolutely nothing. It’s also a great charity to publicize to non-crafting friends and encourage any donations they might want to offer.
Tikkun Olam Nicaragua is a great cause in itself. And it’s also a tremendous opportunity to put your own charity knitting directly into the hands of people who will love and appreciate it for years to come.