In partnership with the Aloutette Correctional Centre for Women, Maple Ridge, BC, the Blanket Project has enabled female offenders to reach out to the women in Kigeme, Rwanda.
Making the blankets has been a calming, peaceful activity for the inmates:
“We’d sit on our beds and throw the balls of wool back and forth to mix up the colours.”
“The warden walked through and there we were, three crocheting, one reading, and one prisoner said, ‘Look at us, a bunch of hardened criminals.'”
More importantly the inmates feel they are helping other women–poor women in Rwanda.
“I don’t think I’d be here today if it wasn’t for this project and you.”
Each year the female inmates of ACCW crochet over 100 blankets for the Healthy Mums Project which are then delivered to Rwanda by the visiting teams from Vancouver.
The women in Rwanda send their messages back to the inmates:
“Please tell the prisoners that hurting is not death, pain is not death, have courage.”
“We are waving our hands to the prisoners right now, saying hello, we are praying for you, we are loving you and thanking you so much.”
“Please tell the prisoners that there is a child covered with your blanket, who is warm. The child who may not have anything now has something. What you are doing is really great.”