Partnered with True Vineyard Ministries


The KidKnits story starts with Rwanda. Since the beginning of KidKnits, we have enjoyed a deep partnership with True Vineyard Ministries (TVM), founded by Diana Wiley. The Handspun Hope program had been developed by TVM in 2010 as a means to provide sustainable wages for 10 widows in Rwanda. Each of the women learned to clean, spin, and dye merino wool into high quality, handmade yarn. With support from demand created by the KidKnits project, TVM has been able to grow, currently employing 35 widows in the town of Ruhengiri, Rwanda. TVM owns and leases land in Rwanda, and they are steadily growing their own flock of merino sheep. All of the women employed by TVM receive health insurance and assistance in paying for the education of any school age children. In addition, TVM further supports the local economy by purchasing supplemental wool from other farmers in Rwanda.

Shop Rwandan Yarns and Kits

browse our selection of beautiful 100% wool yarn handspun in Rwanda

Visit Our Store

Featured Women
Each of the women of TVM has their own special story. Please take a look at the individual biographies on the TVM site. However, several of the women were very special to Ellie after her 2011 trip to Rwanda to meet these amazing women. These women are:

Mama Emmanuel

Mama Emmanuel’s first name is Faina. However, with another Faina on the team, she goes by a very common nickname in the Rwandan culture. Her oldest son’s name is Emmanuel, and so she is therefore called Mama Emmanuel. She was born in Uganda, where her parents had fled from Rwanda. Mama Emmaneul has a very gentle and kind spirit. Ellie taught all of the women to knit hats KidKnits style, and Mama Emmanuel was the fastest and best knitter!

catherine ellie

Catherine & Fabrice

Catherine has been a widow since her husband died in the 1995 Civil War in the North of Rwanda. She often comes to work with her son, Fabrice. While in Rwanda, one of Ellie’s favorite things to do was to play with women’s children who are too young to go to school. Fabrice, though notoriously shy, had a great time playing with Ellie, in spite of not sharing the same language.



Virginee cares for her three children as well as three nieces. Her husband passed away while she was pregnant with her third child. Virginee is HIV+, and while for a long time she wondered how she could provide for her family, she now praises God for her work through TVM. Virginee is a natural leader, something that Ellie saw right away during her time in Rwanda. Virginee teaches many of the other women to read and write, and being a former school teacher, can speak some English!



Jackie, before being hired by TVM could often not afford food for her children. Now, she can afford to feed her family, and all of her children are healthy. She can also afford to send her children to school. While Jackie lives in a home without windows and doors she hopes to be able to afford them soon through God’s help. Jackie is very joyful and is always willing to share her story of how God has been working in her life with others!

ellie velonica colmance


Velonica is a very warm and fun-loving person, and Ellie was immediately drawn to her. Prior to working for TVM, Velonica lived with her children in a small dilapidated hut that she paid $3 per month to rent. Velonica loves to sing, and does so in her church choir. With her job with TVM, Velonica is able to support her family and she has even begun to save some of the money she makes with this job.