Partnered with Casa Ursulina


Casa Ursulina was founded in the mid 1990’s when Sister Mimi Ballard and seven local Chilean women shared a vision of a common place where women could come together to work, learn, and support each other. Their first crafts were needlework and crochet, and they expanded over time to teach local women many different crafts, including spinning wool into yarn.

Today, more than 200 women come to the center to learn crafts and participate in the rich community environment of Casa Ursulina. Sister Mimi Ballard and Sister Ruth Gehres oversee the house with much support from over 30 volunteers who give their time and talent to teach, provide childcare, or otherwise serve this community.

KidKnits began to pray for a new partner for yarn in order to be able to reach more students through KidKnits craft kits, teach students of a new and different culture, and expand the economic benefits of KidKnits to new regions of the world. We were very blessed to meet Sister Mimi and Sister Ruth in the spring of 2012, and after our first trip to Chile, were sure that we had found our second partner for KidKnits yarn.

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Featured Women
Today, sixteen women participate in the yarn project through Casa Ursulina. Many of the women in Chile work on spinning yarn from home so that they can provide care for a child or other loved one in need. Most work part-time on spinning yarn, but all are very thankful for the additional income they can earn for their families through this project. All sixteen women have their own unique stories, a few of which are profiled here:


Meche is a very proud mother of six, grandmother of twenty-three, and great-grandmother of four. In January of 2012, her house burned down, as fire spread across large parts of Chillan and the surrounding areas. With the money she makes spinning yarn for Casa Ursulina and KidKnits, Meche would like to bring electricity into her current home, and would like to be able to purchase a pipe for her stove, which would eliminate the smoke that currently fills her small home. She would also like to be able to provide for the education of her grandson who lives with her.



Margarita is the mother of one son and one daughter. Her husband passed away in January of 2012 in a tragic work accident. She was without any income from January until June, when a very small government pension started. Margarita is a seamstress, and is sewing bags for Casa Ursulina and KidKnits. With the money she makes sewing she hopes to be able to cover the monthly bills, and save enough to build another room on her house so that her son and daughter do not need to share a room.



Nela is the mother of three sons. They live in a small adobe brick home built by her husband on the farm where he works. During the earthquake of 2010, one wall of the house was badly damaged such that one room of the home is still not usable. As a result, all three of her sons share one room and one bed. With the money that Nela will be earning spinning yarn for Casa Ursulina and KidKnits, she hopes to provide clothes for her sons to go to school and repair the earthquake damage to her home.



Juanita is the single mother of one daughter and two sons. She currently lives in a very small two room house that was built behind her mom’s house. With young children at home, Juanita cannot easily work outside the home, so she is very thankful for the opportunity to support her family by spinning yarn for Casa Ursulina and KidKnits. With the money she earns, she hopes to be able to afford a home for her family.



Janet is the mother of one son and one daughter. She lives in a very remote country area where the local school only goes to sixth grade. Because her daughter is fifteen years old, her only option for education is a boarding school which places a signficant financial burden on the family. In addition, Janet is the primary care provider for her mentally disabled sister. She says about spinning yarn, “I just love doing it!” and is thankful to be able to support her family through this project.