A chance experience at an airport back in March left its mark on Rafael Alcaide. On returning home to Madrid, Rafael saw a large group of Ukrainian women and children who had just arrived from fleeing the invasion in their homeland.
Wanting to do something to help, Rafael turned to his friend Rita, a crochet designer, and together they came up with a design for a small amigurumi bear which has become a symbol of resistance for the refugees. Within weeks, Amoami, a social enterprise was born and they began training the Ukrainian women in how to create the amigurumi bears – some of which had never crocheted before.
Soon other groups opened up across Spain and later in Switzerland too. To date, 40 women have been helped through Amoami. The organisation is able to help the women with the therapy of making the bears, it helps them settle into their new communities and pays them an income. People are able to support the group by buying the bears and so far bears have been sent far and wide, from the USA to Hong Kong as well as across Europe and the UK.
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The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
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Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston.