Prisoners knit their way to freedom!
Inmates in a Brazilian prison are knitting their way to freedom — thanks to a unique idea by designer Raquel Guimaraes.
In 2009, designer Raquel Guimaraes went looking for knitters for her design business in a very unusual place: a maximum security prison. She started out by training just 18 crafters to knit and crochet her beautiful designs — since then around 100 prisoners have taken part in the project.
The “Flor de Lotus” (Lotus Flower) project gives prisoners a chance to learn a skill that will enable them to find work at the end of their sentences. They are paid a salary (75% of the minimum wage in Brazil), which boosts their confidence and self esteem, and they also receive one day off their sentence for every three days they spend working.
“The remission of the sentence gives them the value of redeeming freedom, integrity and confidence. They are able to do any work and produce very well,” explains Raquel, who works closely with the prisoners on design and manufacture.
It’s a fantastic success story!
Raquel Guimaraes shows a prisoner how to create macrame
Traditional crafts like hand knitting and crochet are highly prized the world over. Sharing skills can bring wonderful benefits, as it as has for these prisoners in Brazil, building new lives with knitting!
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Last updated: August 4th, 2016.