Glass Beads: the Color of Hope, and a Peace Corps on Steroids

This past Sunday in the late summer afternoon with a thunder and lightning storm at two, then blue sky and sun by four, we held a small family barbecue to welcome home from Africa the daughter of a good friend and to send off that night to Africa our future daughter-in-law. Both young women are graduate students in International Relations. The first was working in a refugee camp in Ghana with families soon to return to Liberia. The other, a PhD student, is researching the role of education in post conflict Uganda and earlier in the summer was in Malawi, where she and other graduate students had started a nonprofit to raise money for girls’ scholarships to high school (Advancement of Girls Education—AGE).

Our friend’s daughter had brought back a bundle of glass bead jewelry—blue and brown beads, black, red and white beads, etched beads, green and yellow beads, and red, white and blue beads all strung together in an array of bracelets and necklaces–as well as brightly colored children’s clothing, all of which she spread out on the table. She is selling these and will send the proceeds back to the refugees and the surrounding community; she’s also raising funds for at least one high school scholarship for a young man who helped her during her stay at the refugee camp.

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