The mill we work with support local communities in numerous ways. Some of these involve supporting smaller satellite businesses down to providing scholarships for education. For example, our mini skeins are produced at a small women owned company giving employment to women in the surrounding area. Our hand spun yarns are from women in the Highlands to supplement their income, and helps to support their families.
The mill also have a school called the Mirasol school. The school is in a remote area of the highlands, and it took us about 7 hours to get there in a 4x4, it was an incredible journey to say the least because of the terrain and altitude differences, the landscape is absolutely beautiful. The school is approximately 4500m above sea level and we all found this took a bit of adjustment for the first day or so. There is a special coco leaf tea which helps with the high altitudes which we were encouraged to drink as frequently as possible. It’s a strange feeling to walk even for just a little bit and for your muscles to get tired really quickly and get puffed out, but these are the joys of high altitudes, the longer we were there the more we adjusted.
Because of the sheer enormity and vastness of the highlands, people mainly live in small communities which are spread out. To access school, children often have to walk hours to school in all weathers. The Mirasol school now has 47 children from ages of 5 - 14, the children are selected from families in the surrounding area who would benefit from going to the school, it makes sense to make it a boarding school because some of the children live so remotely that travelling in everyday isn’t easy. This gives them more time to study.
The school is a boarding school Monday to Friday and provides the children with an education far superior than they would get normally. This is often the first time the children have used flushing toilets, and often pressure their parents to get them at home once they are used to them. Even simple things like cleaning their teeth for the first time. The school is an incredible place, it's not fancy, but the kids absolutely love it. The parents contribute a very small fee, this just encourages them to engage in the education process without it being a financial burden for them. The parents take it in turns to come and help do the washing and cleaning again encouraging them to invest in the school.
We are really proud to sponsor the education of 5 children a year, and also provide extra funding for things they might need. That means that you as our customers are making this happen, the school is a very special place and the education they receive has incredible impact on these children’s lives, giving them better opportunities for the future. The children work hard at their studies, have ample play time, help to cook, and take responsibility for cleaning their spaces.
The warmth and energy of the children was a pleasure to be around. Thankyou for everyone at the school for making us feel so welcome, we will be back!.