Six years ago I was invited to Kuching, Malaysia, to the Borneo International Bead Conference (BIBCO), to present a paper on a book I wrote entitled “The Art of Bead Stringing - Artist to Entrepreneur,” and to teach master workshops on the art of bead stringing, jewelry design and how to create cottage industries to women from Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, India, and Japan. All expenses were paid. The workshops went so well that this year marks the third time I have been invited back (the conference is held every 2 years).
I am bringing this to your attention through GoFundMe because this year funding for BIBCO is not what it has been in the past. While I have once again been invited to participate, the organizers have advised that they are only able to cover my hotel and ground expenses for the days of the conference. In addition, they are not able to finance as many master workshops as I have done in the past. These are extremely beneficial to the local women. I am willing to donate my time and energy but I need your help to cover the expense of travel, an extended stay and some materials needed.
I am in contact with several of my students there and know that my workshops have changed how they view themselves and how they approach their work. It makes the twenty-four hours in the air each way a small discomfort to endure when it helps so many. As a woman who raised my children alone, I know how important what I teach is to the women who take my workshops.
On my last trip to Kuching one of my students approached me and said, “You may not remember me but you have changed my life. I thought my work was not worth anything and you said it had value. I stopped being afraid and now I earn good money making jewelry. Thank you.”THE PROJECT
My plan is to make the benefits of these workshops available to as many women as possible. I want to spend eight to ten days in Kuching teaching at the conference, and afterwards working with local artisans to further develop their skills. I then want to go to Rwanda in East Africa for eight days and teach at a woman’s coop there that I started working within 2013.
In 2013 I was commissioned by the government of Rwanda to write the first manual on how to make beaded jewelry for that country. I have worked with artists and a women’s coop there since, long distance. They have been asking me to come back and it is time I go to provide the workshops that can enable them to further develop their businesses.
Under my tutelage, an artist in Rwanda created a new line of beads made of fig tree bark and acrylic that the woman’s coop there makes. The beads are now highly prized and sold globally.
This artist and I talk at least three times a month as I help him process ideas and expand the coop’s market. In his words, “I trust you to guide us as we develop our craft”
My workshops are designed to empower women by building awareness of their skills while sharing with them products that are good quality yet inexpensive and work well with indigenous materials to create beautiful and unique jewelry. This knowledge helps them to compete in the global market place. I teach ways women can generate income for themselves and their families by building their crafts into cottage industries. ABOUT ELAINE
For those of you who do not know me or the work I do, let me give you my background. I am Elaine Robnett Moore. For over 30 years I have used my artistic talents and business experience to teach design, jewelry making and most important to empower women. I teach micro-business development to artists and craftspeople in both emerging and developed countries. I have also authored two books on jewelry making. Self-taught and internationally recognized, I am based in Maryland.
I invite you to visit my website (www.elainerobnettmoore.com), my Instagram account (Elaine Robnett Moore Collection) and LinkedIn account (Elaine Robnett Moore) or my Facebook page (Elaine Robnett Moore Collection).
I appeal to you for help with this endeavor.FUNDS NEEDED
The funds raised will be used in the following way
Airfares - $3,200
Misc. - $1,900 additional hotel / expenses
Manuals - $1,250 for 50 students
Supplies - $1,150
Highlights of the workshops will be posted here, on my website, Instagram, and Facebook.