Khoti won a 1000 euro prize from German University SRH Heidelberg!

Below is a rough translation of the article written by SRH Hochschule Heidelberg (which you can find here) in the occasion of Khoti winning a 1000 euro prize!

"In October 2018, the 22-year-old Mexican Samuel Gracida, who studies music therapy at the SRH University of Heidelberg, founded the organization Khoti. In total 14 people in the US, Germany and Mexico are involved in this initiative for fair trade in Mexico: Khoti wants to protect the indigenous people from exploitation and provide them with economic security.

Khoti in the indigenous language Otomi means "embroidery". "Khoti is not only what people do, but also our hope that we can combine all our talents to achieve social change," explains Samuel Gracida. When he met the people of San Ildefonso, he saw the harsh working and living conditions and he knew he wanted to start immediately. But building an organization takes a long time, a large network, and of course, start-up capital. Meanwhile, the student from Heidelberg has found 14 fellow fighters in the US, Germany and Mexico who sell the traditionally made scarves online. "Traditional embroidery is a skill that is increasingly lost. We want to prevent that!" emphasizes Gracida. About three to five hours a week, the young Mexican invests in his initiative while studying, taking care of the marketing, the organization and the website. As often as he goes back to Mexico, he visits the scarf artisans he works with. They urgently need equipment for sewing scarves such as sewing machines or irons, but they also need to invest in the website and marketing.

At the end of 2018, SRH Hochschule Heidelberg announced a prize for social projects that recognizes the great commitment of its students and employees. Twelve initiatives entered the competition for the prize money of € 1,000 - they presented themselves on the college's Facebook page and were able to collect likes. Help for people in Romania, for young mothers and people with disabilities in Zimbabwe, networking projects for seniors and young people, development aid in Ethiopia or the construction of wells in Ghana - many students and employees of the SRH University of Applied Sciences Heidelberg are privately involved and volunteer their time for others. The initiative Khoti had the most supporters with more than 1,000 Likes and prevailed against the eleven competitors.

Prof. Dr. Katja Rade, Rector of the SRH University of Heidelberg, is proud of the voluntary commitment of the students and staff: "Social topics are not only present in our degree programs such as social work or psychology, but everywhere in the university. This shows that many people here have a heart for their fellow human beings - and invest some of it in working with those who may have been less fortunate in life than themselves. "

Thank you SRH for the prize and for writing this article!