• The Location

      Ayacucho is a city as well as a region situated high up in the Andes Mountains. The region is one of the most traditional in all of Peru, but at the same time also one of the poorest. The private foundation, Solid International, has been focusing its activities on Ayacucho since 2005. By means of creating opportunities and offering training schemes, Solid encourages Ayacuchan farmers, workmen, micro-entrepreneurs and their families to improve their lot by their own efforts. The organisation invests in socially responsible entrepreneurship to stimulate employment, in order to contribute to the sustainable development of the Ayacucho region.

    • The Facts

      In 2011, Solid International founded a handicraft workshop where underprivileged teenage mothers and women knit and crochet bonnets and scarfs.
      But the workshop is not the only place where these Christmas baubles are handcrafted; women in the countryside are also offered an opportunity to work on this project and to receive fair pay.

      In a nutshell: a project involving the whole community, making your Christmas tree even more 'beautiful'!

    • Behind the scenes

      Who are the ladies who have made these magnificent Christmas baubles? We’d like to introduce six knitting ladies. They are part of a community of people who have buckled down together to support this project and thereby get the opportunity to earn a fair wage.

      • Maura Huamán Mendoza

        Age: 31
        Residence: Pumpaquio Alta
        Number of children: 5
        "I love knitting Christmas baubles. I used to knit occasionally, but now I do it every day, because I can earn more money from it. This project has really helped me; I can now pay for child care and I use the rest to provide more healthy food for my children."

      • Marleny Vega Bedrilla

        Age: 26
        Residence: Pumpaquio Alta
        Number of children: 2
        "I used to work in the countryside together with my husband as well as work at home. My neighbour was knitting Christmas baubles, and through her, I was able to start doing that myself. I’m going to use the extra money I am now earning to buy material and extra food for my children."

      • Maria Curi  Martinez

        Age: 37
        Residence: Ayacucho
        Number of children: 5
        "I love knitting, so it’s great to be able to earn some income from it as well. Moreover, I am now also contributing economically to my family. We’ve even been able to build our own house"

      • Juana Gómez De la Cruz

        Age: 43
        Residence: Minascucho
        Number of children: 3
        "Initially, my husband didn’t approve of me working on the Christmas bauble project. Despite the many things which I also had to do at home, he even gave me free time to knit. I’ve used my income to pay off lots of items and also to finance my children’s studies in Ayacucho."

      • Odilia De Cruz Escalante

        Age: 34
        Residence: Minasucho
        Number of children: 2
        "We saw in this Christmas bauble project a good opportunity for the women from our village. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, but eventually we mastered the art of knitting and it became very enjoyable. This income has helped me to pay off a loan."

      • Margot Ventura Gómez

        Age: 23
        Residence: Lolachoccmayo
        Number of children: 0
        "When Solid contacted me to take part in the Christmas bauble project, I was really happy, since I already knew how to knit sweaters. We earned a fair wage and were also paid on time, something which I appreciated very much. We hope to get more assignments because no one had ever suggested this sort of work for this purpose"

      • 2 Red Christmas Baubles

        Set of 2 red baubles

        € 14,95 / £ 12,00
      • 2 Navy Christmas Baubles

        Set of 2 navy baubles

        € 14,95 / £ 12,00
      • 4 Navy Christmas Baubles

        Set of 4 navy baubles

        € 24,95 / £ 20,00
      • 4 Red Christmas Baubles

        Set of 4 red baubles

        € 24,95 / £ 20,00

The Figures

    •  400
    • "Solid has also been working for a few years on assisting and supporting two of the most vulnerable sections of the population: single (teenage) mothers or poor families in the countryside. Thanks to this Christmas bauble production, we’ve finally managed to address the latter target group. Producing Christmas baubles is relatively simple, so we’ve finally managed to provide work for those people who, due to their precarious situation, are unable to find work. This employment gives them greater financial security and boosts their self-esteem. The women in the countryside knit and crochet the Christmas baubles, meanwhile allowing their cattle to graze and their children to play on the plateaus of the Andes. The teenage mothers have been able to finish their Christmas baubles in their own environment, with their infant nearby, with no work pressure, and without having to travel."

      - Lyn Verelst, co-founder & general manager Solid International