Ghana

May 9
2018

Rafiatu’s Journey

I’m jumping ahead 10 years in the timeline of the Eternal Threads journey, but it’s an important story to tell now because we have the opportunity to take part in a one day crowd funding venue on May 15th to raise funds for Rafiatu and the women she serves.

I had traveled extensively over the years, but had never been on the continent of Africa when I decided in 2010 to go to Nigeria to visit a young woman that Eternal Threads met at Abilene Christian University, and also to Accra, Ghana to meet a young woman that we hoped to work with in the future – Rafiatu Adams.

Rafiatu had spent much of her growing up years in the home of Christian missionaries in one of the poorest regions of northern Ghana. When her father died, her family wanted to marry her to an older man when she was only 16 years old, but Rafiatu had other plans for herself and for others. She wanted to do something with her life that would make a difference for the poor women in her community.

After graduating from high school she went to the capital city of Accra where she did menial jobs to save money for university. She was accepted to university, but life on campus was difficult economically because she didn’t have a means of sponsorship. That’s when she decided to use a talent she already had to earn some income. When I met her she said, “I love making beaded bracelets and usually gave them to my friends as gifts, but then I thought…hmmm, maybe I could sell them!” An entrepreneur was born!! A generous woman give her a small amount of money to get started and she knew she was taking a risk, but she spent it ALL on beads. She sold them on campus and in the city on days off, and then reinvested to buy more beads.

We met her when she was finishing her university studies in Sociology. She had a dream to go back to her rural village and teach the women to make jewelry so they could earn some desperately needed income. Before we left Accra, we gave her the first order for her new venture. She started with twenty women and now employs seventy five women.

Eternal Threads helped her establish Beads of Hope, a non-profit organization through which she does training for the women and provides start-up kits for their jewelry making and sewing as well as sponsoring children to attend school. She has since established a social enterprise through which to sell the goods, Detiina which means…BE THE HOPE.

Rafiatu NEVER stops working for her dream and the women. She regularly travels 14 hours on the bus to go to Accra to get raw materials and market their goods in hotels and gift shops. Eternal Threads has helped her with funding to build jewelry cases to showcase the goods in the hotels and shops. See their beautiful designs on EternalThreads.org.

Because it is difficult to sell enough jewelry to keep the women working full-time, Rafiatu has a new plan to provide the women with chickens to raise and sell in the market place. She has so many plans to become a sustainable enterprise. Your help would be amazing…She is Priceless

May 6
2015

Birthday wishes for Eternal Threads

I usually don’t celebrate birthdays, but maybe the milestones are different. I’m not sure why they should be, but certain milestones give us a way to celebrate life!

Even more rare than celebrating a birthday is having someone ask me what I want for my birthday, so when the Eternal Threads Board asked me what I wanted for my 65th birthday, I had to think about it. I didn’t have to think very long, however.

On May 18th we are celebrating my birthday and more importantly the 15th anniversary of Eternal Threads. When you talk about celebrating life, the last 15 years of the mission of Eternal Threads puts that in capital letters for me. LIFE AND HOPE to hundreds of women and their families. That’s something WE can all celebrate.

We have given over $1,000,000 of income to the women we serve just since 2005!!!! What more can we do?

Here’s what I wish for:

  • $3500 to help Rafiatu, in Ghana expand her business so she can employ more women and girls.   A production unit to make their own recycled beads and sandals and 6 sewing machines to train young women to sew.
  • Help Rosemary expand her market in Uganda with rent for a local shop so she can have the funds to educate her four younger siblings.
  • $8000 for 80 rescued girls in Nepal to have sewing machines enabling them to start businesses when they return to their home villages
  • $10,000 to support another anti-trafficking border unit in Nepal that can rescue 200 girls in a year…$50 a life!
  • Support for our Afghan partner and his family. They have received visas to go to India from Afghanistan where they felt increasingly at risk; as well as continuing our project in Afghanistan that his mother-in-law will oversee.
  • Expand our market in order to support our artisans with consistent orders and sustainable income. Contributions to Eternal Threads allow us to improve our products, website and marketing strategies.

The board has set the goal of 1000 donors to give $65 each for this celebration. (Write “Celebration” in the Program:Other window). Those funds could enable us to do all of this and much, much more. A great celebration indeed!!!

This celebration is for everyone who has supported Eternal Threads with donations, purchasing products, volunteering or hosting a sale. CELEBRATE LIFE AND HOPE in your own life and that of so many women you have served.

GRATEFULLY,

Linda

Mar 28
2011

Meet Rafiatu

Name: Rafiatu Adams
Home country: Ghana
Trade and mission: bracelet and bead making and exporter of baskets made by women in her village
Goal: Set up a business for underprivileged women to make a sustainable income through beading.

Rafiatu initially started bracelet making and beading to pay her way through school. As time progressed she became inspired to use her abilities to help other women in need. Rafiatu decided to set up a business for underprivileged girls and “street girls,” teaching them the art of beading so they can have the ability to provide for themselves and their families. To get her business up and running she needs an expanded market to sell her items and that’s where Eternal Threads stepped in. Rafiatu knows how to sell her wares in Ghana, but connecting with women in the U.S. will greatly expand her capacity to serve the young women in her country.  She is now raising money to build a place where “street girls” can live and work.

Rafiatu items sold at Eternal Threads

     

  • beaded bracelets and necklaces
  • bracelets featuring African recycled glass beads
  • handwoven baskets
  •  

In her own words

“To be able to employ like 50 girls will really make a big change in the lives of all of us.”

“I have recently paid for the land to be legalized with papers so it is now ours forever. I have also bought a truckload of sand and stones to be used for the foundation but I am stuck for the moment and will begin something as soon as I start mobilizing enough.”

Rafiatu’s beads and baskets are now being sold at Eternal Threads’ Gatherings and at our Abilene Warehouse.  They will soon be available on our website.  Visit eternalthreads.org to find out more about Gatherings, other ways you can help and to learn stories of other Eternal Threads’ women around the world.