“In crafting there are no mistakes, just unique creations.”
– Someone’s nan, probably.
This week marks the end of one of Central Grampians LLEN’s work for the dole programs, Kreative Krafterz, as we donated over 30 bags of crafts to local kindergartens. CGLLEN’s Kreative Krafterz, welcomed nine women this year to get their hands sticky, their fingers painted and probably to wash some glue from their hair as they created craft projects for local kindergartens.
The krafterz explored a sense of creative freedom and empowerment as they developed close to 40 craft projects. Each project required one finished craft, and 30 identical craft supply kits for the kindergarten students to put together. The crafts came in all different sizes, colours and shapes: piggy-banks, paper lanterns, books, colouring pictures, masks, and paper boats are just a few of the projects these krafterz put together. Each is sure to put a big smile on all those small faces.
As an addition to the crafts, one of the krafterz took the initiative to raise money for the local kindergartens by organising a barbecue at Woolworths. Other krafterz and CGLLEN officers volunteered their time to help with the barbecue. They raised roughly $300 in donations.
The krafterz also engaged in discussions with Mel, CGLLEN’s Program Manager, regarding their professional aspirations and developments.
Mel explored various pathways to careers with the krafterz to establish what kind of professional opportunities are available to them and what skills they need to get there. “We wanted to find out what kind of jobs inspired them, and how we can help them move in that direction,” Mel said. The krafterz were able to cultivate communication, IT, and project management skills in a casual work environment.
“When we first went over their resumes, they were all surprisingly similar and very generic,” Mel explained. “Employers often briefly look at cover letters and resumes, so it’s important for job seekers to stand out in that process. We wanted to teach each of the ladies to create a resume that reflected who they are in a professional and creative way.”
Kreative Krafterz has been a unique experience for the program’s coordinator, Youth Project Officer Bree Rush, and for each of the krafterz. The program was initially created to provide a work for the dole opportunity in the local community, but it had also become a safe and social space. The women were encouraged to develop their professional voices and to engage with their community in Ararat.
Although the program has come to an end as we delivered the craft supply bags to the kindergartens, the friendships between the krafterz and CGLLEN has remained.