A front porch; women smiling and talking with each other, their hands busy, admiring one another’s work—a familiar scene, but in this case, with an unexpected twist. The women were HealthEd Connect’s Kawfas (volunteer health care workers from Zambia), and the beads they were making and stringing into necklaces served a larger purpose—educating, feeding, and clothing the 1400
Orphans and Vulnerable Children of their villages.

My research had revealed that each cultural representation of the grandmothers should include bead necklaces. I turned to this small but mighty not-for-profit as my source. My intent was to buy the necklaces as a way of further supporting a charity I believe in. Instead, they insisted on sending them to me free of charge as a collaborative and supportive act.

And so, a global effort was born which put beads on each grandmother’s neck. It made no difference to the people they were meant to comfort that the beads weren’t from the correct country; what mattered was the familiarity they represented. The beads could be thought of through their traditional uses–for adornment, worry, prayer, games, with dance and celebration, or as currency; but, because of their story of origin, I see them as symbols of a heartfelt connection and synergy.

No one could have predicted that the creations from the front porch of a community center half a world away would one day be used to comfort another woman’s child, yet across continents, woman to woman, that’s exactly what happened.

#FamiliesBelongTogether #LoveThyNeighbor (NoExceptions) #Peace #StandWithImmigrants #LovingKindness #LoveKnowsNoBorders #Nonviolence #Peacebuilding #AJustWorld4All #GrandmotherHealingDolls #PeaceLoveUnderstanding

Share your thoughts in meaningful dialogue –

(Please do not comment here, instead use these posts as opportunities for respectful communication directly with someone you know. Here’s an idea…how about talking with someone who disagrees with you on this or other issues?)

What is collaboration?

Beads have been used during prayer in many religions and across cultures. Why do you think that is?

Please tell how you have felt when you have given or received unexpected generosity.

When asylum-seeking parents and children were separated and put in detention centers; compassionate, creative action was needed & Grandmother Healing Dolls was born. Follow the journey of their creation and the 3000 mile trip to three detention centers, courthouses, and more on this Thrive Global series.