Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bazaars and Beads

One of the fun things about being in Nepal during the Christmas season is all the "bazaars" that the various hotels have been hosting. Kathmandu has many expatriates and because of that there are many activities throughout the year that cater to them. There are many organizations here that are helping the hurting and the needy people of Nepal. Many of these needy people are girls and women who have been taken and sold into slavery either by a stranger or by their own family. The organizations help rescue these girls and women and then offer them counseling, education, teach them life skills, and then teach them some kind of a handicraft so that they can make a living for themselves. Many of these ladies (with the help of expats) will then begin a business and hire other hurting women to help make their product(s). They then take these products/handicrafts and sell them at the Christmas Bazaars (and other events) and any money they make goes 100% to helping them survive.

Today I had the opportunity to go to Immanuel Crafts, one of these special businesses. It hires about 10 women who come and make beaded jewelry and special holiday cards. There are several ladies in America and in England who buy their jewelry and then sell them in the States or in Europe and whatever profit they make goes to these women, 100%. I have never really been "into" beads and things of that sort but I found myself totally enjoying being with these women and finding a little creativity within me. I bought a few pieces for my personal outfit and am wondering now how I can help these women out more. My friend, Karen Chase, works with them 4 or 5 days a week for several hours and she absolutely loves it! However, God has blessed her with a creative mind and she comes up with many new creations for these women to learn. Sorry I have no pictures this time, but I promise that the next time I go, I will bring my camera and share the pictures with you.
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