How a job at the hand knitting hub changed Jamuna's life

Jamuna, aged in her late 20s, was too shy for even the most trivial-looking tasks when she started at the KOCO hand knitting hub in southern India.

One day KOCO founder Danielle Chiel asked her to go to the post office. Later, Jamuna would describe the thoughts going through her head at the time.

“I’d never been there before and I wasn’t brave enough to say so,” Jamuna said.

Jamuna did not tell Danielle of her fear because in the Indian culture it is often difficult for people to say ‘no’.

That trip to the post office started an interesting journey for Jamuna. Now she says: “I speak to the people at the post office and the shopkeeper. I can go up and speak to my child’s school teacher. Now I understand how my child is performing at school.”

Jamuna became a supervisor, organising the company’s human resources and payroll, translating patterns into English for other women and tracking the company’s freight.

KOCO’s garments are being hand knitted in more and more Indian villages each month by women such as Jamuna eager for a chance to earn an income and develop their skills and creativity.

Garments knitted by women such as her are worn by fashionable buyers who know they are wearing clothing entirely produced by one person.

Jason Knight