|By Ali Alford, Marketing and Education Volunteer|
Awamaki is excited to announce that we’ve begun building a new knitting center with the 25 knitters of the Rumira cooperative! We are excited to partner with Education First (EF) Tours to kick-start the building process. EF provides international, experiential learning tours for students and teachers. Throughout the month of June, Awamaki and the Rumira knitters hosted one hundred volunteers from across the United States to break ground on the center.
The two-story knitting center is Awamaki’s most ambitious construction project to date. It will provide the women of the Rumira cooperative with a communal workspace where they can store equipment, work on knitting projects, and hold cooperative meetings. In addition to a workspace and store, the center will contain a children’s playroom so that the children will be close by, yet occupied, while their mothers are hard at work.
Using Incan building techniques, the center’s construction is both sustainable and budget-friendly. The volunteers worked alongside local skilled laborers to help move large stones, sift through tons of dirt, mix mortar, and dig trenches. Their incredibly hard work allowed us to take full advantage of the dirt, rocks, and other resources that were already on site, and keep cost low in the process. Given the large scale of the project, the center will be built in stages so that upon the completion of the first room, the women can start taking advantage of the space while we continue to expand outward and upward. Funding from Mary’s Pence and the Ombligo Amigos, along with continued partnership with EF, will allow us to complete future phases.
It was incredible to see the progress that the groups made in just a few short weeks, and we look forward to keeping everyone updated on this project! We’re so thankful that the women in Rumira will have a much-needed and deserved space to help foster collaboration and creativity within the cooperative.