Sunday, March 22, 2015

Clutches of Hope

From the refugee town, Masese in Uganda beautiful paper beads are crafted into clutches. Women work daily to design and weave the beads into multi-colored bags that are fashionable purses for daytime or evening wear. These bags are not the Red Carpet clutches that you see, but they are the livelihood of the Mothers of Masese who craft beaded jewelry and bags for a global outreach program, H.E.L.P. International. These bags are clutches of hope in a town that has seen much disease, illiteracy, and poverty over the years.

H.E.L.P. International.  was founded to bring hope, education, and sustainable living to mothers and children in Masese, Uganda. Through the selling of beautifully crafted jewelry and bags, a school for 550 children was built and continues to thrive as a center for literacy in the refugee town. The young learners receive education from their Ugandan teachers and headmaster, two meals daily, and fresh water while in school. Professional development for the Ugandan educators is provided several times a year by the founders of the organization who travel to Masese several times a year.

You can read more about the fundraiser efforts that I am involved in through a series of blog posts, the most recent one being Giving Tuesday Offers Hope to Others. 100% of the proceeds from the various fundraisers on Long Island go to the sustainable living and education programs in Masese.

Today is a double offering post. 

I am participating in Heidi Mordhorst's March...Forward Poetry Challenge. Today's word is clutch. The poem created talks of the difference in the types of clutches there are in the fashion industry. 
For fashionistas, a clutch
is a must that cannot hold much.
It is dainty and sweet,
compact and petite-
a place for lipstick 
and mirrors to meet.

Glamorous stars clutch 
their Red Carpet clutch
that doesn't hold much.
They stop and they pose
but it is not their clothes
that tiny cameras seek.
What is wanted is a peek
inside the Clutch Cam
that cradles the clutch
where fans look, not touch.

Advice for the stars
on Red Carpet Day
when in a clutch
get a soft mani touch
so your lovely hands
can showcase the clutch.

Advice for everyday shoppers:
Look for the Mothers of Masese clutch
fashionably crafted by women's touch.
Carol Varsalona (c) 2015. All Rights Reserved
Thank you for allowing me to inform you of a service learning project that reaches into the heart of Africa to bring education to Ugandan children and a sustainable living cottage industry to the mothers of Masese. Creating Hope from Paper was my original post written about this outreach program. 

Not, it is time to turn your attention to Day 23 of the March Slice of Life Story Challenge at Two Writing Teachers to read slices from many different writers.  

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