Beaded Hope Blog
Juice, It's "Serious" Stuff April 21 2011 1 Comment
Thoughts from Jennifer. Mamelodi, South Africa. April 21, 2011.I’ve become accustom to the fact that I often have to ask my South African friends to repeat themselves or to explain something that I don’t understand. I have also learned that juice is not something to take lightly as anything below 100% juice is simply unacceptable. So when I was told that we needed to pick up some “serious” juice I assumed that they meant some seriously good stuff. Much to my surprise, this is what we bought.
Township Life April 21 2011
Thoughts from Jennifer. Mamelodi, South Africa. April 20, 2011.People often ask me what life is like in the township of Mamelodi. Words fail me ever time. I cannot begin to explain what I cannot begin to understand. With each trip to South Africa, however, I gain a little bit more insight. Let me show you what I’ve witnessed on this trip. Houses come in all shapes and sizes. Some are made from brick and wood, some are made with found materials. Some have water and power, many don’t. People setup stands on the side of the road to try to earn a living. Fruits and vegetables, tires, freshly fried fat cakes (that taste like a donut without all the sugar), and even mouti (traditional medicine) can be purchased. A once functioning stove stands watch over a wood burning pot that fills the house with the smell of fire. Rain and rubbish make for a bad combination especially when it rains at night and homes are flooded with water. Sometimes people have a need to wash away the debris of the day.
Two by Two April 17 2011
Thoughts from Jennifer. Mamelodi, South Africa. April 16, 2011. Part1/2
Saturday, April 16th part 1/2Today was a low key day for Connor and Amanda, or “the kids” as I have become used to calling them since everyone seems to think that both of them are my children. For me though it was a day of errands in preparation for a dinner that we would be hosting on Sunday for the Beaded Hope ladies and their families. Despite the rain we managed to run to Cakes of Africa and Pick-N-Pay. It was much to my surprise, a day filled with new adventures (and, by now, hopefully you know how much I love an adventure). So, let’s begin with Cakes of Africa where we ordered a cake for Sunday dinner. While driving to this first stop I learned that if we did not collect our cake promptly at 10:00am as scheduled then the cake would be sold, at a lower price, to another customer. What? Now, I’m used to being able to arrive on the DAY that I order a cake but the idea that we had to arrive exactly at 10:00 to collect our cake was simply preposterous. Driving into the parking lot at Cakes of Africa I immediately noticed a queue (you know, a line) of people snaking out the door. In amazement I asked why the line of people, standing in the rain, waiting to get into the cake store. Seemingly, this is quite normal. (Mighty always says “seemingly” by the way. It’s very endearing.). When people want a cake they are willing to stand in a QUEUE in the RAIN to collect it at EXACTLY the scheduled time. When I stepped into the bakery I began to understand. In a space that was no larger than 10 feet by 15 feet was a crowd of people waiting for their cakes. No big open spaces with lots of cookies, pies and other sweets to select for yourself like we have in America. Even in France and Portugal you can at least step up to the bakery case, take a look at the options and make a selection without queues or rain. Once it was our turn we stepped up to the iron bars (where all the cakes were stashed far from reach) and told them that we had an order waiting. Yes iron bars, behind which there were at least 30 employees frantically frosting and decorating stacks (literally) of cakes.
Let Me Introduce April 09 2011It’s time for some formal, okay maybe more like casual, introductions. On Sunday, April 10th I will be departing for Mamelodi, South Africa along with my compadres Connor and Amanda. Connor, my son, has been looking forward to this trip for years. Hopefully, his mother (yes, that’s me) won’t strangle him before the end of the two weeks (he IS nearly 12, if you know what I mean). Amanda was volunteered by her mother for this trip (love you Joules!) and has wrapped her arms and mind around everything South Africa. You’ll hear a lot more from Amanda after this trip because she is also doing a three month journalism internship with Beaded Hope. And now, without further ado…
Connor is in the 6th grade at Adena Elementary School where he is passionate about three things: legos, baseball and helping others.In Connor’s words: “My mom has been going to South Africa since I was five and I have wanted to go since her second trip. I want to see what the world is like outside of the United States. I know how lucky I am to have food, a house and be healthy and that we are not affected by AIDS. I want to help.”
Okay. So you don’t really need my bio do you? Well for the random reader who stumbles across this blog post (welcome! btw) here it is:Jennifer is a 40-something wife and mother of two boys who is passionate about being creative, hiking the beautiful outdoors, and finding adventure in every-day life. Jennifer has been in love with Africa for as long as she can remember and is known to spout off pearls of wisdom (all learned from the ladies in South Africa!) such as “you don’t have to be Bono or Oprah to change the world; you just have to take the first step.”
Be sure to check back often and follow our adventure at:
Anniversary Drawing - Enter Now! March 31 2011 12 CommentsThe Beaded Hope novel is celebrating its one year anniversary this month! To celebrate our first anniversary we would like to give one lucky recipient a $25 gift certificate from Beaded Hope to be used for online shopping. To enter the drawing for the gift certificate simply add a comment to this Blog post and tell us how the Beaded Hope novel has inspired you. At the end of April Cathy and I will select one entry to win the anniversary gift certificate. Thanks for celebrating with us! Here's to celebrating our gold anniversary! (that 50 years, fyi)
Human Rights Day Observed March 21 2011On this day in 1960 a group of black South Africans gathered in the township of Sharpeville (just 150 km away from Mamelodi) to protest the pass laws that limited the movement of all non-white South Africans. A key component of the Apartheid system, pass laws required black South Africans to carry a pass book with them at all times when they were outside of their compounds and designated areas. Failure to do so could result in arrest. On 21 March 1960 at least 180 black Africans were injured (there are claims of as many as 300) and 69 killed when South African police opened fire on approximately 300 demonstrators. The Sharpeville Massacre, as the event has become known, signaled the start of armed resistance in South Africa, and prompted worldwide condemnation of South Africa's Apartheid policies. In 1996, when African National Congress succeeded to power with Nelson Mandela as their leader, 21st March was instituted as the South Africa Human Rights Day and included in the list of National Holidays of South Africa.
Writing. Writing. And more Writing. March 12 2011That is what Amanda Evans will be doing for Beaded Hope. A journalism major at the University of Cincinnati, Amanda will spend her spring quarter interning with Beaded Hope. To ramp up for all the writing that she will be doing during her three month internship Amanda will also be going to South Africa with us on April 10th. While there she will be visiting with the ladies, observing her surroundings and just generally soaking up a ton of writing material. Get a little peek into Amanda's head by visiting her Facebook page: To Africa I go. Want a deeper peek? Check out Amanda's blog page. But no matter what, be sure to check out the guest blog post that sparked Amanda's internship. And when you're done reading feel free to leave Amanda a comment.
What Now??? March 01 2011In July of 2005 I traveled to South Africa for the first time. During that trip my home church, Crossroads, envisioned developing a long-term partnership with Charity & Faith Mission Church in Mamelodi focused impacting change in the poverty and AIDS-torn community. Doctors, teachers, grant writers, entrepreneurs and visionaries joined to dream about future partnership possibilities. For me, this dreaming lead to the opportunity to combine my educational background and my jewelry business into what is now Beaded Hope, an organization passionate about making change in the world, one woman at a time. So, it comes with great sadness that I am now sharing with you that the partnership between the two churches, Crossroads and Charity & Faith, has officially and mutually ended. This means that there will be no more trips between the two churches, no more financial support and no more Mamelodi-targeted projects (for more details you can check out the FAQ document prepared by Crossroads). Never in a million years did I anticipate the need to bring you this news. And, like me, you may be wondering what this means for the future of Beaded Hope. The leadership team at Beaded Hope (both here and in South Africa) has taken time to think, discuss and pray about what this change means to our future. While it is true that Beaded Hope began out of a church-related trip it is also true that we have been operating as an independent organization for quite some time. We are truly saddened by this development but we are not deterred. The women that we serve in the Mamelodi community are our sisters whom we love and, as long as we are welcome, we will continue to serve them. So it is with bittersweet sadness for the past that we dream (and plan) for a future full of hope.
Shout. Dance. Sing. December 02 2010 1 CommentIt's been nearly four years now but I still can't shake the memory; Nelly and Betty shouting, dancing, and singing because they would have bread on the table that night. In that single moment I learned a life-altering lesson. I learned of the power of bread on the table, the joy of sharing with friends and family, and how one seemingly small act can impact many people. Let me backup. Four years ago I hired two new artists, Nelly and Betty, and paid them for their first delivery of beadwork. Immediately they jumped out of their chairs, shouted and danced and sang, slowing down eventually, to tell me that they would have bread on the table that night. I was moved by their bold display of appreciation but didn't fully understand their words until later that evening when a South African friend of mine told me the true meaning. You see, in South Africa when someone receives they also share. So, while Nelly and Betty would have bread on their table that night so would their children, their families, their extended families, their neighbors, their friends and perhaps even the neighborhood orphans. To witness the power of a simple act, the joy that it created and the generosity that ensued was nothing short of a pivotal moment in my life. As a result of this experience I have spent the last two years search for a seamstress who could carry the beauty of the bread on the table concept one step further. Then in January I met a woman named Elina who lives in a one room shack with her two daughters and two grand-daughters in Pumelonge, one of the poorest areas of Mamelodi. Using a generator to power her sewing machine, Elina manages to create the most beautiful custom draperies, pillow coverings and whatever else she can dream up. When asked if she could make an apron for me Elina said "yes" and showed up the next day, having walked the five miles from her house to see me, with several samples for my review. Overwhelmed by both her initiative and her meticulous work, I hired Elina immediately and we began to work on what are now the first (of many) Beaded Hope aprons. Along with always having a heart for Africa I have always loved to cook and when I do you will find me with an apron tied around my waist. Now, as I wear my new apron from Elina, I am reminded of the power of a simple act of kindness, the amazing generosity of a nation of people and the pure joy that comes from sharing bread with friends and family. And I have the women of Beaded Hope to thank for this lesson. Inspired to bake some bread? Check out this recipe and enjoy!
Bake. December 02 2010Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago I learned to love the cold winter days that were filled with sled riding, ice skating and cross-country skiing. But my favorite days by far were the ones when my mother made a big pot of vegetable beef soup and baked a fresh loaf of homemade bread. I don't think my mother ever used a recipe for her soup but she did use a wonderful recipe for her bread, which she always served fresh out of the oven with a dab of real butter on top. I can still close my eyes and smell the sweet smell and taste the first bite of my that warm bread. In the spirit of "bread on the table" I thought I'd share my mother's recipe with you. As you make your own loaf of bread (or pick up a hearty loaf of bread at Kroger's. It's okay. I won't tell my mom.), remember how the simple act of putting bread on someone's table is something to shout, dance and sing about. Swedish Rye Bread Don't be intimidated by the fact that this is called rye bread. I actually spent my entire childhood and all the but the last year of my adult life believing that the bread my mother made was actually wheat bread. Seriously, it's that yummy! Ingredients: 2 cups water ¼ cup molasses ¼ cup butter 2 ½ cups rye flour 2 packages of dry yeast 1/3 cup of brown sugar 1TBS salt 4 to 5 1/2 cups of unbleached flour Directions: 1. Combine water, molasses and butter and heat to 120 - 130 degrees. 2. In a separate bowl, combine the first four dry ingredients (rye flour, yeast, brown sugar and salt). 3. Add the water mixture to the flour mixture. 4. Stir in the 3 1/2 to 4 cups of the unbleached flour until sticky. Kneed bread adding an additional 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups of flour until the flour is fully incorporated and the bread has some elasticity to it. 5. Let rise in greased bowl in warm place for 45 to 60 minutes. 6. Kneed and punch down. 7. Let rise in two 9x5 loaf pans (greased) until not quite double in size (30-40 minutes). 8. Brush top with beaten eggs. 9. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. 10. Remove from pans immediately and cool on a wire rack. 11. Or, better yet, time it perfectly so that the bread is coming out of the oven just as everyone is coming in from the snow. By the time they've taken off their wet snow boots and mittens the bread will be cooled enough to slice and serve, just like my mom used to do!
Sarah Center Holiday Jewelry Show 2010 December 01 2010
Let it Snow! at Book Bums in Olde West Chester, Nov. 20, 2010 November 11 2010
Loveland Women's Club, Nov. 9, 2010 November 11 2010A heart-felt thank you to the Loveland Women's Club who generously invited Cathy and I to share our inspirational stories of the Beaded Hope novel and the women of South Africa. We are honored that you opened your hearts to us and to the ladies of South Africa. Your generosity put 73 days worth of food. As they say in South Africa, you are blessed!
Sugarcreek, OH Nov. 5-6, 2010 November 11 2010Last weekend Cathy Liggett and I had the amazing opportunity to visit the First UCC Mission Committee and the Women of F.A.I.T.H. in Sugarcreek, OH. We had a wonderful trip that began with a book signing for Cathy at The Gospel Shop in downtown Sugarcreek. We then went to First UCC where we were invited to speak about our work and our journey with Beaded Hope (both the novel and the organization). We concluded the evening with a jam-packed sale of Beaded Hope items. The next day we joined Sugarcreek's annual "For Your Pleasure" a holiday shopping event that draws people from all over the area. Cathy and I are so thankful for the opportunity to speak with First UCC about Beaded Hope. Even more, we thank them for opening their hearts to the women of South Africa. As you know, at Beaded Hope we measure success in day’s worth of food. This means for every $15 purchase you are providing an artist with 2 days’ worth of food. Through their love and generosity the First UCC and the community of Sugarcreek provided the ladies in South Africa with the equivalent of nearly a year’s worth of food (360 days!). We are incredibly grateful for this remarkable accomplishment and for the blessings that have been showered upon the ladies in South Africa. As the ladies in South Africa would say, you are blessed. Be sure to check out our pictures from the weekend on Facebook. Pat Edgar of First UCC provided this beautiful introduction prior to our presentations. We thought you might enjoy reading a little bit about how we landed in Sugarcreek. It is my pleasure tonight to introduce our speakers, Jennifer Davis and Cathy Liggett. I have put a brief biography of each of them in your program and encourage you to look at those. What I’d like to share with you now is how they came to be here with us tonight. For us here at First UCC, the journey to Africa and the Beaded Hope Organization began when one of our Women’s Book Club Members, Susie Immel, was ordering a book on Amazon.com. For those of you who are familiar with that Web site, you’ll know that they track your purchases and web searches and very helpfully recommend other books that they think you’ll enjoy. It was in this way that Susie found the book, Beaded Hope. When she read it, she knew it would be right for our book study and passed it on to me. I agreed wholeheartedly and was so inspired by what I had read that I checked out the Beaded Hope Web site. Some of you have more experience with computers than others. But one feature of any computer Web site is the little button that you can press that says “Contact Us.” When I pressed that button to tell mission founder, Jennifer Davis, what her work and the book had meant to Susie and me, I got an almost immediate response. Through a series of e-mails back and forth, Jennifer Davis and author, Cathy Liggett, agreed to bring their story to Sugarcreek on this weekend full of mission activities here at the church. And we are very excited that they are here. What makes this even more special for me is that our speakers tonight are women who didn’t set out to change the world. As you can read in your programs, both Jennifer and Cathy had a series of jobs and careers before Beaded Hope came into their lives. One thing they had in common, though, was that they both had a heart for Africa and the willingness to go where God lead them. Through Jennifer’s corporate experience and jewelry making abilities and Cathy’s writing ability and publishing experience, Beaded Hope was able to come alive for both the women of Africa and the many thousands of readers and jewelry buyers they have encountered during the past several years. Tonight you’ll hear something of their stories and the stories of the people they serve. One important point that I’d like you to take from the presentation tonight is that they made themselves available and willing to take direction when God called them. They took that step that some of you here tonight have taken in participating in a hands-on mission, but they also followed that experience through in a way that has touched many, many lives. I pray that we can learn from them. When God showed Susie the book Beaded Hope at Amazon.com and when He encouraged me to press the “Contact Us” button at BeadedHope.org, He was setting in motion this encounter tonight. Listen carefully, He may be showing you something you never dreamed of before. Let’s welcome Jennifer Davis and Cathy Liggett.
Beaded Hope @Home October 31 2010What happens when you host a Beaded Hope @Home show? You put days and days worth of food on the table of the ladies of South Africa. But not only do you feed them, you give them a job and work to empower them; just by participating in a home show. Check out the latest Beaded Hope @Home show results: October 28th show hosted by Lori Ford provided the equivalent of 75 days worth of food October 10th show hosted by Kristin Goecke provided the equivalent of 50 days worth of food What about you? Would you like to host a show? Just email Jennifer at email@example.com to get started.
Books by the Banks, Oct. 2nd August 31 2010FREE and open to the public, the 4th annual Books by the Banks: Cincinnati USA Book Festival will be held October 2, 2010 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Each year the Book Festival continues to build upon its success. Organized by the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, the University of Cincinnati Libraries, The Mercantile Library, and Joseph-Beth Booksellers, it is the joy of reading and books that brings these partners together. This year Cathy Liggett, Beaded Hope author, will be joining the Books by the Banks event. So, this is your perfect opportunity to pick up a book and have it signed by the author (just in time for Christmas gift giving!). More than 100 regional and national authors will be participating in Books by the Banks. Purchase books and have them signed by the authors throughout the day. Enjoy author readings and panel discussions. Visit the K12 Kids’ Corner featuring costumed storybook characters, crafts, and other fun activities for families. There’s something for all ages. For more information, visit: www.booksbythebanks.org For more information about Cathy Liggett you can visit her at: www.CathyLiggettt.com
iMPACT Church, 08/15/10 August 28 2010Beaded Hope author Cathy Liggett and I had the pleasure of speaking at iMPACT Church on Sunday, August 15th. We shared our personal stories of how Beaded Hope (both the organization and the book) came to be. We also had the opportunity to meet and visit the wonderful women of iMPACT. A big "thank you" goes out to all the ladies of iMPACT for welcoming us!
Through the eyes of my child June 24 2010Today I had the opportunity to walk through the World Vision Experience: AIDS with my 8-year-old son. Tethered together and listening to the same audio story, we experienced Babirye's story. After walking through the exhibit we had the opportunity to write a note with our thoughts or prayers.
My son wrote this heart-felt note after going through the exhibit. When he was done he promptly handed me a piece of paper and a pen so that I could write my own note.
He added his prayers and mine to the wall of prayers.
And then knelt down before this cross to pray for ALL of the children of Africa.
World Vision Experience: AIDS in Cincinnati June 12 2010
Step into Africa
Can you survive the journey of a child?Beaded Hope is excited to sponsor the World Vision Experience: AIDS exhibit in Cincinnati. This amazing walk-thru experience takes you on a virtual journey to Africa, where you'll walk in the steps of a child affected by HIV/AIDS. The World Vision Experience: AIDS is a 2,000 square foot interactive exhibit that invites visitors to "step into Africa" by hearing, seeing and walking through an African village to personally experience the lives of children affected by AIDS. The stirring audio and captivating photography will transport you into the life of an African child and give you a new perspective on the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time...AIDS. Event Details: Dates: June 20-27 daily (times vary) Location: Vineyard Community Church map Tickets are recommended, but not required. The exhibit is self-guided, and takes approximately 20-30 minutes. (Please note, parental discretion advised for children under 13.) You can get your free tickets here. Volunteer for Beaded Hope at the World Vision Experience here. Learn more about the World Vision Experience: AIDS here.
Step into Africa (video) June 07 2010What's it like to step out of your own world and into the world of a child in Africa who is impacted by HIV/AIDS? Watch this video and find out. To learn more about World Vision click here. To learn more about the World Vision Experience click here.
Women to Watch 2010 June 03 2010Thanks to Kristin Goecke founder of Mason Metu, from Me to You, a website where you can find kid-friendly activities and recommendations from one mother to another, for featuring Beaded Hope founder Jennifer Davis as her June 2010 Woman to Watch. Women to Watch 2010 KRISTIN GOECKE | MASON METU, FROM ME TO YOU Monday, May 31, 2010 "Beaded Hope is a wonderful non-profit organization that provides education and employment to the women of Mamelodi, South Africa. Started by Jennifer Davis, Beaded Hope continues to grow and help more South African women to provide food, vitamins, medicine, and clothing for their families. Many of these families have been impacted by the devastating effects of HIV and AIDS. Not only is the beaded jewelry hand crafted and unique, but knowing that each purchase helps these women provide basic necessities for their families makes every purchase worthwhile. You can read more about Beaded Hope on Associated Content (also written by Kristin). For our Women to Watch page, I wanted to learn a little bit more about Jennifer and Beaded Hope. Here's our Q&A...continue reading
World Vision Experience: AIDS (video) June 02 2010Coming June 20-27 to Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati is the World Vision Experience: AIDS. You don't want to miss it. To learn more about World Vision click here. To learn more about the World Vision Experience click here.
Fashion for a Cause, 5/28/10 May 28 2010Thanks to Cincy Chic for featuring Beaded Hope in their "Hometown Heroes - Inspiring People Around Town" issue as their "Fashion for a Cause" organization! Fashion for a Cause ELENI SNIDER | CINCY CHIC Friday, May 28, 2010 A local non-profit organization sells products that are handmade by artists in Africa. Find out how a certain Cincinnati hero is accomplishing all of this and more. This local non-profit reaches across the Atlantic to touch and support women's lives through fashion. Beaded Hope offers South Africans the opportunity to work and earn their own income to sustain their life and battle HIV/AIDS at the same time. The African artists create beaded works that explore their imagination and help them gain the resources to improve their medical needs. Jennifer Davis founded Beaded Hope in 2005 on the basis of helping struggling people in Africa. Women trained in beadwork make handmade crafts like jewelry, small gift items, Christmas ornaments and even apparel that are then sold in the United States. Davis turns to these specific women for her products to help them fight hunger, poverty in their communities and diseases like HIV and AIDS. A $15 dollar purchase from Beaded Hope is equal to two days of food for one of the African artists, Davis says. Likewise, a $30 purchase pays for the cost of employing one of the artists for a day. Inspired by a visit to South Africa with Davis, author Cathy Liggett channeled her experiences in her book entitled Beaded Hope that was released in March. The novel centers around three women from Ohio who travel on a mission trip to Africa and who meet an African woman with the idea of creating beaded work that can be taken back and sold in America. You can purchase this book at many popular bookstores and online at Amazon.com. Liggett also is donating 20 percent of the proceeds from her book sales to the organization. So you can get a good read and help people out all at the same time Along with being charitable, Beaded Hope jewelry and products also can add stylish taste to your wardrobe. For instance, the tribal colored and printed jewelry and the layering of the bracelets offer two huge fashion trends right now, Davis says. The more the merrier, right? Davis is a true modern-day hero to the Cincinnati community as well as the community of women artists in South Africa that her organization helps out every day. And what does it mean to be a hero to her? "To me, heroes are people who give selflessly of themselves to others. Most heroes are everyday people who grasp the opportunity to help someone in need ; a coach who looks for just the right words of encouragement, a neighbor who coordinates meals, a friend who stops what she's doing to listen," Davis says. "These, too, are heroes." Check out Cincy Chic here and learn about all of the Hometown Heroes here.
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