Grant #221


December 5, 2016

This organization is empowering women in prison one stitch at a time.

In the past 15 years, there has been an alarming (and surprising) increase in female prisoners around the world, with many behind bars for committing poverty-related crimes not gory, chilling deeds. The growing imprisoned population has no means to earn fair wages or support their family — and as a result, the spiral of poverty deepens downward for the already vulnerable and disadvantaged.

But CARCEL, a social start-up and fashion brand, is aiming to break that spiral by empowering women in prison one stitch at a time. The new organization creates employment and offers fair wages for the incarcerated women who make their fashion collection, allowing the women to cover basic living costs, send their children to school, and save for a crime-free beginning. In a nutshell, CARCEL is transforming lost time into skills, paid jobs, and better futures.

Thanks to the Awesome Without Borders grant the CARCEL team will be able to host a three-week capacity building workshop for incarcerated women in Cusco, Peru. Through the workshop women will develop knitting skills, business acumen, and sense of community that is strong and beautiful.

While the organization’s start is in Peru, their vision is global. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see what’s next.



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders