Beauty being created by hand…

A little over a month ago we posted about a couple of moms in the project who stitch traditional designs on clothing to make a bit extra money.  That blog entry described how while it takes them a day to sew the designs, they are only making 2.50 ETB per shirt and pants that they do.  We had great responses from so many of you as we started to dream of ways we could help provide more income for these moms to do what they are already skilled to do.

This launched for us a few small projects in and around the Day Care to make handicrafts for us to take back with us on furlough to raise awareness as well as to make a bit of extra money for these moms and a way to provide them with better grants to be in business themselves.

These moms have been hard at work.  For some of the moms they have been making baskets – a skill that they already had.  Two moms we have been paying a daily wage to make paper beads for us to be used in jewelry.  Two other moms we have contracted to roast coffee for us.  And, the 3 moms we talked about in the first post were contracted by us to sew designs for each of our family members on traditional shirts we’ll wear at the different places we speak at on furlough.

Below you will see some photos of the products that have been made already.  These kind of items will be available when we come back to the US as well as we have a friend that hopes to open an Etsy shop once we get our act together here.

One of the most interesting things in this process was the paying of the moms for the work they are doing.   We have had moms stumble and stutter and stare at the floor as we asked them how much they would like us to pay them for their work.  Time after time moms would shyly ask us for an amount that was far less than what the item is actually worth.  And time after time as we paid them a fair price they lifted their eyes to us and started to crack a smile.  For them there was some restoration of dignity AND a realization that they are making things of beauty that have value…just like themselves.

Here’s the photos…we hope to bump into you over the next few months as we take the show on the road.

Handmade Necklace. Beads & seeds by Abebech & Asefa

Selection of Bracelets. Beads handmade by Abebech & Asefa.

Basket made by Mulu

Lemlem micro-roasting coffee

Coffee Roasted by Moms - Lemlem & Hiwet

Necklace and Cross. Cross made in Ethiopia. Paper beads handmade by Asefa & Abebech

Necklace Collection. Beads handmade by Asefa & Abebech

Necklace Collection. Beads handmade by Asefa & Abebech

Handmade Necklace. Beads & seeds by Abebech & Asefa

Handmade Necklace. Paper Beads by Abebech & Asefa

Basket made by Frahawit

One Comment on “Beauty being created by hand…

  1. Love them all. absolutely beautiful. Can’t wait to see them and you guys in person. Our prayers are with all of you.

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