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Editor's note: Elizabeth Harac, creator of this amigurumi murloc, makes these adorable critters for a charity she established, Hands of Hope, which designed to help inspire and empower children in third-world countries. Read more about Hands of Hope, and join us after the break as Elizabeth shares the pattern along with a step-by-step photo guide on how to make your own amigurumi baby murloc.
I have been doing various needlework since I was a child and Mother was trying to keep me still for more than five minutes. Last October, I had the idea that since needlework taught me a lot of things -- like self-confidence, purpose, planning, and relaxation -- it might be helpful as a skill or hobby to other people. I had seen a TV segment about a sewing program in the projects somewhere and how the confidence the girls had gained was flowing into schoolwork and other areas. My original idea was just to find ways to teach needlework to girls in third-world countries where they could use the skills to also raise money for themselves. I needed to make money to make embroidery teaching kits, so I started making amigurumi and selling them.
Then I met Betty Makoni. She was a CNN Hero 2009. She runs the Girl Child Network Worldwide. She rescues girls in Africa who have been raped, abused, sold into slavery, forced to be child brides and worse. She loved the idea of the embroidery. In May 2010, we sent 52 kits to Zimbawbwe, and we have requests now for hundreds more. The girl are teaching each other; they are making clubs and using the time to talk about dreams, planning how to reach them, and working through the trauma of abuse. As a victim of rape and abuse myself, my heart went out to these girls.