Human Trafficking, Hookers, Hope - 3KCBWDAY6

How far have I come in the land of hooky, am I comfortable with what I know? Huh? This is not a question I have really contemplated on a literal level before. To be honest, heck no, I am still on Crochet 101, having barely scratched the surface. I am sure my projects also reflect this.

On a different level though I have come full circle in what I set out to achieve, a process that started to take form in my mind when I refused to be labeled a Trailing Spouse during this past decade of traipsing the globe. I put my career as a Human Development Professional on ice and embarked on completing two postgraduate degrees in order to gain the knowledge and accreditation that would allow me to establish NGO's and human development programmes supported by local and global authorities.

I am ready to rock and roll!  

My aim is to establish a Human Development Program in Asia, empowering trafficked women and children through their own photography, art and craft. These can be potent tools for transformation and people in Asia love to crochet, love to share their skill. I have gained the necessary qualifications, knowledge and inspiration needed to be rolling out the project. As an ethnographer I will just be hooking along, embedding myself in their hooky social life, understanding their crocheting culture to ensure the feasibility of the project.

Hooks - Own photo

Over 3 decades ago in South Africa I learned the art, craft and pleasure of crocheting from an Aunt, someone who assumed the role of my maternal grandmother. I must have taken to it like a duck to water as I hooked a sizable 1.5m x1.5m giant granny square blanket in stripes of red, white and blue while I was still in primary school. At some stage my brother got hold of the blanket and it became his - probably at the same time I developed a liking for purple, pink and white. Then it was passed on to the dog who had his home decked out in cool crochet.

Five years ago in Dubai I met Mayada Askari who shared Cell 52 in Iraq's brutal Baladiyat Prison with 17 other "Shadow Women", all of them incarcerated for crimes they were falsely accused of. In prison they endured unspeakable torture and torment, some of them to death. Her story moved me deeply, changed the course of my life forever. During the same period I also watched the award winning documentary Born into Brothels about children living in the red light district of Calcutta where their mothers work as prostitutes. I concluded my Masters in Adult Learning and Global Change.

Nepali boy - Own photo

Christmas morning, two and a half years ago, we flew to Kathmandu where by evening we were attending a charity dinner to help raise funds for Nepalese children rescued from Indian circuses where they were forced to work as performers. They create mosaic work as part of their rehabilitation process. One and a half years ago I wrote a paper comparing the South African Shwe Shwe Poppi - and  Kids with Cameras projects. These projects demonstrate the living stories of hope, creativity and empowerment of children, for children and by children. I concluded my Masters in Interdisciplinary Child Studies. Once again I am a changed person.

The human development program will be a tribute to my brother and aunt, people who are no longer with us, but who shaped my hooky life through very special memories. 



  1. This is so powerful. I wish you all the success in the world with the human development program. It seems that you are the kind of person who can do anything once you put your mind to it.

  2. Intersting concept Magda. Will you roll it out in Penang, locally?

    1. Concepts such as Photovoice, crafts etc is highly successfull for social change as well as counselling and rehabilitation.

  3. Hey no, not Penang. i am hoping to post more detail soon.

  4. For goodness sake, sorry if I sound abrupt, the device I am working is not allowing me to make corrections and restricts nr of characters.

  5. Very inspiring- can't wait to hear more.