Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Beads for Hope--A Holiday Gift Idea with Purpose

Kazuri Beads. Photo by C. Coimbra

When the holiday season is upon us, we are blasted to near deafness about what we should buy--much of it useless and without purpose.  A seventeenth century clergyman, Thomas Fuller, suggested, and wisely so, that,  "A gift, with a kind countenance, is a double present."

The Daily Prism would like to add that a gift crafted by those in need, far exceeds a multi-carat diamond.

Case in point are several opportunities to purchase handmade beads crafted by African women.  At 100 Good Deeds beaded bracelets made by "vulnerable women, many HIV+, who've been trained for this work in Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, Rwanda & Haiti, Bali, India and New York," according the the non-profit's website, "... gives women a way to support their families through earnings, while empowering them to also contribute to good deeds around the world."

The Good Deeds Bracelet
Each bracelet consists of 100 beads, and each time you do a good deed, you move the ring one bead closer to the button.

Another option comes from Kazuri, a bead making operation in Nairobi, Kenya.  From the website:

Kazuri was started in 1975 by Lady Susan Wood with the social mission of making work for a few women. Initially less than 10 women were employed making beads in her garden shed. As word of the beauty and uniqueness of the Kazuri beads, necklaces and earrings spread, sales increased, as did the facility, and as a result 350 people are now employed. Many more wait in the hope of having an opportunity to join the ranks of those talented people who make small and beautiful objects. Now under new ownership, Kazuri has been able to expand whilst still retaining its philanthropic roots. The workshop is still located on a portion of the farm once owned by Karen Von Blixen, of 'Out of Africa' fame, at the base of the Ngong Hills outside Nairobi.

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