Bags n’ Beads is a cottage industry that was started among Free Methodist women of the Turkana tribe who migrated to and live in the Eldoret area. Women from other areas also make jewellery from paper strips and create bags from local fabrics. This is a story about an enterprising Turkana woman who is part of this cottage industry.
Ann learned to bead as a young girl using the popular Kenyan Masaai beads (otherwise known as seed beads). She has been teaching other women to create jewellery as well.
Ann was so happy to tell me “the sheep story”. She was able to earn some money from the beads that were taken to Canada to sell. Ann decided that instead of using the money that she had earned to buy something for herself or even for her family, to use the money to buy a sheep. Sometime after buying the ewe, it gave birth to a lamb! What she didn’t know when she bought the sheep is that it was pregnant. While “development” in Africa is often construed as “getting rich quick” or knowing who to write to get financial assistance for immediate personal or family needs, Ann has embraced the true meaning of development, working to earn something “small”, investing in something bigger and gradually improving one’s financial status.
Pray for the ministry of Bags N’ Beads. Pray for these women who help to bring change to their families. Pray for opportunities to alleviate the real situations of poverty that bring hopelessness and despair.