Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Day 6 of 12 Artisans of Christmas: Meet Renande
The following story is part of a 12-day series featuring 12 artisans who are part of The Haitian Bead Project. This growing business helps offer a hand up to women living in rural Haiti. They use recycled cardboard and paper to handcraft beautiful jewelry and products to sell around the world.
On a dripping hot day in July, Renande rises early. She's eager to get to church where she will be helping with a week-long Vacation Bible School for kids. Some 500 kids crowd into the one-room church building and pile onto wooden pews. Renande is not rattled by the numbers. The morning starts with singing, and Renande is right out there leading the brigade. Some kids are timid at first but she gets even the littlest ones involved.
This woman has a heart for kids.
She also is very talented at using her hands. After the singing, Renande helps direct the children in making crafts. She loves to teach and work with others. She makes fast friends with some of the Americans who are visiting her home town of Savanette for the week.
Later that afternoon Renande is among the first to arrive at the church to work on making jewelry for The Haitian Bead Project. She pulls the front benches into a circle and covers a desk with a lace tablecloth. Despite the dusty ground and simple furnishings, she makes the space welcoming for the other artisans who come to work.
Renande quickly masters the basics of rolling recycled cardboard beads. Now she's ready to move on to something more advanced. She loves learning to make new products. These versatile key chain bracelets are just one of the newer products she mastered this summer. She also learned the art of crafting hoop earrings and lanyards.
Renande is saving the money she makes through The Haitian Bead Project. She hopes to attend a professional school one day so she can get a job as a secretary or an accountant.