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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Village Necklace



A few years ago, a well-known politician said that it takes a village to raise a child. I would like to take that thought a little further by saying it takes a village to make a necklace. In this case, the necklace is a metaphor for the Denver Refugee Women's Craft Initiative (or whatever we're calling it today!).

Let's say that the original idea is a piece of beading wire, literally the thread that's going to connect the pieces of the project. The wire isn't really a project, though, until you add something to it. Let's add some resilient and creative refugee women. Those will be focal beads at the center of the necklace.



Next, we have a group of dedicated, hard-working volunteers. Each volunteer contributes something different, so the beads that represent them are unique in color and shape. Some people have come to the project to share the vision, share the news. These are the spacers, bringing together elements of the design.

The necklace picks up some much-needed accents when people step forward and contribute skills or services like Website domain registration (thanks, Josh!), or business advice, or a press release, or an offer to photograph the story, or an invitation to participate in a community event, or counsel regarding how best to manage the project from a cultural perspective.

Tying together all of these more visible beads are the seed beads. Lots and lots of seed beads are really what fill out the necklace and make it substantial. They give it a foundation and a way for all of the other beads to shine. The seed beads are the many people who have dug through their stash of jewelry making supplies--dug very deep, in fact--and lovingly selected, packaged, and mailed their things to us. The seed beads are the people who, after thinking about what they could contribute, decided financial assistance might be the way to go. Without the seed beads, our necklace would be sparse, indeed.


Our necklace is not sparse, though; it is glorious and it isn't even finished yet. We're still adding beads, so the final design has yet to be determined. And me? I think that my cohort, Anna, and I are the clasp and the jump ring. We're trying to work in the background, and if we serve our purpose, then ultimately, we have helped link all of these resources, all of these beautiful beads, and held them together. I am proud to be a small part of a very beautiful necklace. Have you seen the glow of those focal beads?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We are all connected, that is for sure. And I think our connections will stretch even further the more work we put into this project.

Woman Power!!

Tammy said...

What a wonderful beady essay!