Late last year, I discovered on Ravelry a charity knitting group called Tikkun Olam Nicaragua. I kept the reference for later, as I was intrigued by the premise. 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 super wash fibers are best, as these will be utilized as shawls and blankets and will be washed.” The next paragraph says, “See the Tikkun Olam Nicaragua page to learn more about our medical mission.” So that’s just what I did, and here’s what I found.
About Tikkun Olam Nicaragua
Simply stated, Tikkun Olam Nicaragua is about providing medical treatment to a part of the world (specifically, remote and rural parts of the country of Nicaragua) that has little to no access to medical care. The locations to which Tikkun’s medical teams travel are those villages, or “pueblos,” identified by the country’s Ministry of Health as being in the most dire 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, to ensure that once Nicaraguans have received treatment, they will continue to benefit from medical attention. Tikkun provides other services as well, although medical care is their biggest priority. 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. Personal supplies are also offered to patients at the medical clinics. One final service provided by Tikkun is offering 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.
How You Can Help
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!” 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. Not only is Tikkun Olam Nicaragua a great cause in itself, but it’s 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.