Cambodia’s Critters Knitting Community Change

I have to admit, growing up, I had a best friend that happened to be a stuffed animal. He was a lion and I loved him dearly. Today, he can still be found chilling at my parents house somewhere, and on occasion, when I’m back home, it feels good to pay him a visit. Is that weird?

Do children today still play with stuffed animals or is there an app for that?

Cambodia Knits, started by Monika Nowaczyk in 2009, works with marginalized communities near Phnom Penh, Cambodia to produce knitted animals, critters and finger puppets for children, or I guess, nostalgic adults. Operating through fair wages and a flexibility that matches each community’s constraints, the organization is striving to empower workers out of poverty through training in knitting skills, reinvestment, and collaboration with local NGOs that support the communities.

All knitters, once trained, have the opportunity to produce Cambodia Knits products within their own communities, allowing workers to stay home to earn an income rather than travelling long distances into the city, and away from their families, to find employment. Knitters are provided all the materials and the organization visits the communities regularly to offer support and follow-up training, collect the knitted critters, and pay each knitter, at a fair piece rate, for each item produced.

Cambodia Knits’s snuggable goodies are available in select shops in Cambodia, Singapore and the US. A catalogue can be found online here.

Thank you Cambodia Knits for making our world wonderful.

LET ME KNOW, REPLY BELOW: Did you have a stuff animal friend growing up? What was it?

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