Betty's Story June 02 2013
As shared with The Story Company.
When asked to share inspiring stories of the women of Beaded Hope with The Story Company we immediately thought of Betty.
When initially hired by Beaded Hope and given her first payment Betty Modisi danced and shouted and sang with excitement. “Now we will have bread on the table,” she said in Zulu.
According to Jennifer Davis, who founded Beaded Hope in 2005, “Betty is hard NOT to love! The picture of her with her hand on her hip is just classic Betty…you just want to be around her because she fills the room with joy.” It is obvious that Betty, (pictured below) is full of spunk and fun! As a single woman in her 40’s with no family, she is sometimes able to find temporary work in highway construction; a dangerous place for a woman. But now with the help of Beaded Hope, Betty can most often be found beading and singing with her best friend, and fellow Beaded Hope artist, Nelly. With an infectious laugh Betty will tell you that she hopes to help others in her community who are less fortunate.
Beaded Hope began with a trip to South Africa. Jennifer, who always had dreamed of going to Africa, was invited to go on a group trip to find ways to develop life-long relationships between the two communities of Cincinnati, Ohio and Mamelodi, South Africa. Mamelodi (Mam-eh-load-e) is where, during the 1960s, black citizens were forcibly placed after being removed from their homes during what was known as apartheid. Today, over 20 years after the end of apartheid, the township of nearly 1.5 million people is ravaged by the impacts of HIV/AIDS. With nearly 35% of the township infected, the community struggles with the triple threat of hunger, poverty and disease that is common in areas suffering under the effects of HIV.
Beaded Hope is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a sustainable income from the beautiful hand-crafted beadwork made by women in South Africa who have been impacted by the triple threat of hunger, poverty and disease. In addition, Beaded Hope also works with the women to help them understand how to be good employees and what it takes to run their own business. This prepares them for future opportunities in beginning their own start-up business or modeling their new skills for others in their community.
Betty, during one of Beaded Hope’s annual beading workshops, designed the bracelet that is being brought to you by the Story Company. With your purchase of a Beaded Hope bracelet, you are providing the equivalent of nearly 3 ½ days of food to an artist so that she may care for herself and her family.
You can learn more about The Story Company at storycompany.com.