Rotary to Sell Beads of Hope at Heritage Festival
Beads of Hope will be sold by the Marlborough Rotary Club at Sunday's Heritage Festival.
The Marlborough Rotary Club will be selling bracelets to benefit Nicaraguan children beginning at the Heritage Festival this Sunday and extending through the holiday season.
The money raised through the sales of bracelets made by Nicaraguan children will go towards schooling for these children through a program supported by Rotary International, said Susanne Morreale-Leeber, the chairman of the beads of Hope-Nicaragua fundraiser for the Marlborough rotary club.
In Nicaragua there is crushing poverty that many children grow up with, leading to malnutrition, illiteracy and dim prospects for the future, said Morreale-Leeber. Many families – including children as young as four years old- make a living by picking through garbage at the dump, searching for edible food, recyclables and other goods that might help the families eke out a meager existence. For these children, school is often out of the question.
In the early 1980’s, one man, father Marco Desi, decided to build a primary school just for 90 of these children. By 2003, he founded Betania Trade School – a high school in order to teach his graduates skills that would lift them out of poverty: woodworking, food service, machining, etc. One of the projects the students work on is making jewelry – beads of Hope – using recycled wallpaper.
A video was created by a girl Scout named Maureen Fenninger who visited the Chinandega dump, and the schools that sprang from it, which showcases the bead making process, and the Rotary connection that helps bring the beads to market to sustain the schools, said Morreale-Leeber.
Today there are over 500 students enrolled in Father Marco Desi’s schools. Marlborough Rotary Club will be doing its small part to support them by selling these beads beginning at the Heritage Festival and through the Holiday Season, said Morreale-Leeber. The sale of these beads does more than make money for these students; it connects them to us, and to a brighter future, she said.