I was blessed to join Fiona, an AIM missionary here in Kigali, on her weekly gathering with a group of Rwandans. The group (anywhere form 30 to 40 women and a few men) gather to make paper beads and turn them into jewelry. The products and beads are sold to help the lovely Rwandese workers.
The group is in the middle of changing their council so I did not get to see how the funds are used at this current time. They are looking at how to take the funds and use them in a way they become a recourse for the future and not just for the next meal. There is a role call each week so each worker is marked and will get their part of the profits.
It was a joy to see the ladies and two men working. It was also a joy to meet some of their children. There were four children in total that join their mum’s. Three were little girls and one smart looking (handsome) little boy. I took each one’s photo except one little girl who cried so loud when I came near…she was afraid of the Bazugu (white person). After photos it became clear, I had a new friend. His name is Augustine. He was dressed in his school uniform and sat inaudibly next to him mum as she started to roll of the beads. Augustine may have been shy but that only lasted 10min! He walked over to Fiona and I and made the motion of cutting (Fiona knows much more Kenrwanda and I but he still had not warmed up 100% to us to use his words). We got home some paper and cutters for him to work on cutting. I took a few more photos and then it because clear that Augustine had no intention of being in the photos or cutting, he sought to take photos!
Some might think that something like this is not making a difference; but it is so clear it is. Without Hope Beads Fiona might not have the opportunity to speak into the lives of SO many ladies. If Hope Beads were not around the women could be looking for work and not working. Others might have a job but it most likely does not pay enough, because of Hope Beads more bills and School Fees are paid. So, YES paper, string, and varnish have a positive change on peoples lives and hearts!!!!