Here at Rio, we’re feeling grateful.
We love that we get to play a role in the creative and productive process of so many jewelers, and we honor the contributions jewelers make to the world. On occasion, however, we learn about a customer who uses their creative skill in a particularly generous way.
In the spirit of the season, I’d like to tell you two stories.
Rebecca Ross Russell is a jeweler who recently relocated to Tanzania, where she has developed a jewelry curriculum for a group of 14-18 year old girls who are part of The Lukundane Women’s Group. Lukundane (which means “love one another” in Swahili), is part of the TAMIHA (Tanzania Millenium Hands) Foundation which encompasses an orphanage, co-ops of HIV widows, and a vocational school for girls.
Among other projects, the students are making brass and fabric necklaces, which involves the use of disc cutters, delicate file work, folding, texturing, text and design. They will sell the goods they produce and keep a portion of the proceeds. Beyond the personal gratification jewelry-making offers the girls, the skills they develop will offer them the opportunity for greater financial independence throughout their lives.
You can follow Rebecca’s Tanzanian adventure by visiting her very engaging blog, The Small Things. If you feel moved to help, the blog facilitates donations that support ongoing care and education for the orphans and jewelry students of Lukundane.
Closer to home, in Albany, Georgia, the GraceWay Recovery Residence offers jewelry-making classes to women who are working hard to overcome substance addictions.
GraceWay’s creative director, Kenneth Bridger, is a PMC Certified instructor who offers residents a transformative therapeutic experience, during a fragile time in their lives.
Liz Dixon, the development director at GraceWay, describes the residence this way: “In addition to maintaining sobriety, women at GraceWay are encouraged to become all that God intends them to be as they pursue their ongoing education, employment, family responsibilities, dreams, and joy-filled lives.”
Kenneth offers these recovering women something extraordinary. According to Liz, “GraceWay is a difficult place to live; recovery is not easy. The classes Kenneth teaches provide moments of delight that these women rarely get to enjoy. The therapeutic rewards are life-giving and wonderful.”
“Healing Through Art” strengthens the holistic recovery process for the residents, channels creativity, and builds a sense of purpose in each resident’s new, sober life. If you’d like to learn more about GraceWay Recovery Residence, you can visit their website.
We would love to hear from our readers about other ways to share time and resources. What are your ideas, big or small, for giving this season?