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Saturday, May 16, 2020

Beautiful things out of the dust (or garbage)

Life has been very hard for our Khutsala Artisans as they are considered “non-essential” and have all been staying at home during the current lock down in Eswatini, which was extended to June 19th last night. 

Not only are they not working, but the product that they produce  helps generate significant income that helps support our 262 children, so without production and sales we are in trouble.  Last week we found a way to get a couple of dozen Khutsala Artisans back to work, while social distancing on the bus and at work, and they are now busy making beautiful tulips, daisies and now lilies in two colors!  

During our lock down, I had a couple ladies go in and start to do a big clean-up of the Khutsala building.  One of the things we found were two huge buckets of old beads that had been swept up off the floor at the end of each day.  There was probably 600 pounds of assorted colored beads that were dirty, dull, useless and really should have gone in the garbage, but no one had the courage to throw away all those beads.  Surely, they could be used for something?  They were once beautiful, shiny and ready to be wrapped on to a Christmas tree ornament or to make a beautiful daisy or an elephant, but now they sat in the corner.

I asked the ladies to have the beads washed with soapy water and dried them in the sun, and then we started to work on some new product. What could we make with these recycled beads that would otherwise be garbage?  It was as if they needed redemption, and through that redemption more product could be made and sold and more children could be cared for. Could beads that were meant for the garbage can help feed children who were found in a garbage can?  There was something there that really excited me and so we got to work. 

By the end of the day we had five new products made, albeit they are variations on things that we have made in the past.  But take a look at the photo below. We have an 8” wall cross with a SwaziMUD heart in the middle and a smaller version of that in a keychain.  I absolutely LOVE the new garden stake, and will be buying those myself.  It was the following week that we were able to hire a bus to bring a few more people back to work at Project Canaan and the Khutsala Artisans started to make these beautiful pieces from our newly cleaned beads. We are calling this our “Redemption Collection” and we were able to ship this product on Tuesday to our warehouse in the US.  The product should be on line by the  end of next week.

The tulips are already in the US and more are on the way. They are not garden stakes (although you could put them in your garden), but they have a green beaded stem and are perfect for display in your home, or even a wedding bouquet that will last for a lifetime.  Please shop  at today and give a gift of HOPE to someone you love.  You will help employ people who really need  a job and also help us care for the 262 children who call Project Canaan home.

Live from Eswatini … I am thankful.


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