Crafting resilience: ‘Stitching Hope’ initiative by ‘1 Million Heroes’ empowers displaced women in Manipur

Stitching Hope
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An initiative, called “Stitching Hope,” was launched by “1 Million Heroes,” an international brand based in Singapore to provide a source of sustainable income for the internally displaced women in the relief camps of Manipur. It equips displaced persons with skills in the Japanese craft of amigurumi, which is the art of crocheting or knitting small, stuffed animals and other objects.

The good news about the initiative is that the dolls crafted by the displaced women have exceeded expectations and drawn global orders, following a successful online pre-sale campaign.

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The online pre-sale campaign ran from October 7 to November 5 and garnered $11,000 worth of pre-sale orders from across the globe. Highest orders came from North America followed by Australia, Europe and Asia.

The dolls created by the displaced women are not only beautiful and unique, but they also tell stories of resilience and hope. Detailed templates, tools, and materials were provided to create dolls by “1 Million Heroes”.

Persons affected by the ethnic violence has so far claimed close to 200 lives and displaced over 60,000 persons internally. Each doll comes alive with augmented reality that shares stories of the indomitable spirit of the displaced women who created it. The characters conceived were Buddy – the pet Dog, Mitten – the Cat, Raja – the Tiger, Oliver – the Bear and Bola – the Buddy.

Monish Karam, the visionary behind “1 Million Heroes,” attributes the success of the campaign to a blend of compassion and the therapeutic aspect of crafting dolls.

“The success of the campaign is not just about numbers,” Karam said. “It’s about the human connection. It’s about children around the world learning from the stories of resilience, and it’s about our artisans finding healing and purpose through their craft,”

As the campaign transitions to the production phase, it not only provides a sustainable livelihood for displaced women but also helps them heal from the trauma they have experienced.

“Crafting dolls has helped me to cope with the stress and trauma of being displaced,” said one of the women involved in the initiative. “It has also given me a sense of purpose and helped me to connect with other women who have shared similar experiences.”

The success of the “Stitching Hope” initiative is a testament to the power of human resilience and creativity. It is also a reminder that even in the midst of darkness, there is always hope.

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