Everyone CAN Craft is a project that is run under the umbrella of Kingdom Business Development Limited. (KBDL)
Part of the mandate of KBDL is to set up and support
- healthcare projects,
- supervisory care projects,
- management projects.
How others have done this?
Over the years I have seen a variety of different types of such projects. My first exposure to such projects were adult education centres aka day centres for people with learning disabilities. I helped run a numeracy course (counting up to 3) and a leisure course (crafts one week and a day trip to a local tourist attraction the next week) The system of courses that they used has gone now and so have most if not all of those adult education centres.
The courses disappeared in an attempt to correct a flaw in another part of the system. Putting that grievance of the big players in the industry right in the way that it was done destroyed a lot of good work done by little players. It also effectively silenced their competition.
The adult education centres disappeared as they were totally dependent on funding from local government. In other words they were paid for from tax payers money and when the government’s priorities changed they disappeared.
The reality is that it is those who have the power that in part at least comes from the money who can decide what happens in the world. There are times when they make decisions that have unforeseen consequences and good things get destroyed accidentally.
Is there a better way?
If these kinds of projects are to be set up then they need to be self-sustaining. It is a model that has been seen to work in the arena of recovery from substance abuse. Part of the programme of Betel is meaningful work both within the community itself and in the shops and businesses that raise the money that helps the program remain self-sustaining.
Some means has to be found of raising money through the mechanism of trading to allow the projects to become self-sustaining. Without this other people can exert control over what is done as he who pays the piper picks the tune. The problem comes when you do not want to dance to the tune that the piper is playing.
Minimal touch online businesses
In the modern world there are ways of setting up online businesses that can be operated with minimal touch. Businesses that are self-enclosed systems that raise money using an online system that rarely needs attention.
Yes there is the need to provide some customer support and spend a bit of time keeping the system going by adding and updating products. Not forgetting doing some promotional work. However, once the system is set up it can be operated with a light touch. The clothes shop is an example of this kind of system.
Businesses that those being supervised can participate in
The more traditional way of being self-sustaining is to set up projects that those who are receiving the additional support can take part in. Effectively they are singing for their supper doing practical tasks that help meet the needs of the project while they are learning skills that will improve their lives. A win win situation really.
If you think this is a new idea with a charity like Betel think again. In the 19th century those who lived in workhouses were often expected to earn their key breaking stones or picking apart rope to when they have recovered enough to leave the project. Even the prison service has done this to some extent as have the sheltered factories that once provided a job for people with additional needs.
It is even a biblical idea as those who refuse to work when they could earn enough to buy food as not seen as worthy of being given food. I think Paul must have been somewhat exasperated with the Thessalonians sitting around waiting for the end of the world when he said that.
The prototype for this kind of project are the activity kits. They need a competent person who can source the materials and manage the business. They also need reliable packers who can put all the materials together in the specified manner something that could be done by a less able person.
What sort of supervisory care?
The book Everyone CAN Craft is the story of how an offline craft group that enriched the lives of people with learning difficulties got off the ground. It gave them the opportunity to get out of the house and do something other than sit and watch TV all day.
When Covid came along the whole thing collapsed. There were cracks beforehand that had developed due to unreliable foundations. Cracks that were enough to make it necessary to use a different approach in a post-Covid world. The idea of using crafts is the same but the organisation behind the scenes has changed substantially.
Craft groups can be helpful in a number of circumstances. They encourage people to gather together to share an activity. This is one way of helping people overcome lonlieness whether they are young and single or more mature and single. They provide the opportunity to share skills and keep the brain and hands active.
One of the things that surprised me when I did some research online was that Google asked me it I wanted to know about therapuetic knitting. Yes someone has tried to spread the idea that knitting is can be used as a medical intervention. On the other hand that is nothing new. Soldiers recovering in hospital during World War One, over a hundred years ago, were photographed knitting in bed.
Now you know the intentions of Everyone CAN Craft.