Well, it has been awhile since I last wrote. Somehow, seemingly while we are not looking, life happens, things change and time slips away. One thing that has not changed for me is my love for and support of the people of Rwanda. I have not had as much time as I might like, or maybe more accurately have not taken as much time as I might like, to work with my paper beads. Behind the scenes though I have been doing a little bit here and there and I am trying to get back to having them front and center.
Fortunately I have kept in touch with several friends in Rwanda. I have received updates about the women of the Buranga Cooperative and I am happy to say that they are doing well in their newest endeavors. The paper bead business was difficult for them, so they have shifted to sewing handbags using colorful African fabrics.
I received three bags from them as a gift after helping them to purchase sewing machines and to hire a sewing instructor (in great part from the purchase of paper bead and African bead items from my shops – thank you to my customers!). I am hoping to purchase more handbags that I can sell or gift to others to spread the love. The women are looking for ways to market their handbags, so if you are interested in learning more, ordering or helping out, please let me know.
Here are a couple of my newest necklace and earring sets listed on Etsy, using pretty Rwandan paper beads.