Thursday, March 8, 2018

March Musings #8: International Women's Day

Today, is the day set aside each year to celebrate International Women's Day. This year's theme, #PressforPower, is a timely one based on the issues present in the world today. It is important for women around the globe to be visible positive forces, to have their achievements recognized, and be influential models for the younger generation. 


I have been privileged to celebrate women's achievements in the refugee village of Masese, Uganda and support my friends', the Garritys, for their work in providing education to 550 elementary children, helping the mothers of Masese to understand how to market their paper beaded jewelry and accessories, and support high school students attain an education. All of these endeavors are supported through the tireless work of the not-for-profit H.E.L.P. International organization and the fundraising efforts on Long Island



Each of the 90+ mothers have a craft. They create beautiful hand-crafted jewelry and accessories from paper. When the Garritys first arrived in Masese they found poverty, disease, malnutrition, and illiteracy.  The mothers did not know how to market their wares. Thanks to the Garritys the women now have the knowledge to sell their products and provide sustainable living for their young ones. Their children attend the school that was built through donations and proceeds from the jewelry sales, and eat two meals of day. All of this is done by a group of volunteers led by the Garritys. 














Each long day in the sun,
in my village, Masese,
my hands roll paper-
turning, twirling each piece,
into handcrafted beads -
for a future built on hope.


Hope rises from our work.
Hands swell with crafted pride
and eyes sparkle seeing 
my children filled with joy.
Bellies full and learning fresh
leads us toward betterment.

Hope rises within Masese.
Sustainable living thrives- 
honest fair trade work brings
our refugee village
together as people 
believing in hope.
©CVarsalona, 2018

I feel proud to be part of a mission to support learning and sustainable learning in Masese.


 

Day 8 of Two Writing Teachers' March Slice of Life Story Challenge