Bracelets for Rwanda

Senior Discusses Future Volunteer Trip, Asks Students to Make Jewelry


Photo by Aja Steiner

Senior Faith Elliott and junior Izzy Castillo make bracelets for Rwanda during den on Sep. 17. After her trip to Rwanda last year, Elliott decided this year to bring with her handmade friendship bracelets. "They are such an uplifting, happy community [in Rwanda]," Elliott said. "They love knowing that other people from across the world, like the kids, are thinking of them and making bracelets, thinking of them and for them. They love anything that came from the U.S." 

Morgan Kasel, Reporter

Since 2001, the organization Africa New Life has educationally and economically supported families in Rwanda. The organization sends over 350 sponsors to the country each year, including students like senior Faith Elliott. This year, when Elliott leaves for Rwanda, she will bring with her unique, handmade friendship bracelets to give to the families she will meet during her visit. 

“I just thought that it would be nice to bring some bracelets for them,” Elliot said. “Last year we brought stickers and they absolutely loved those and they are really thankful for anything.” 

Elliott originally heard about the project from her mom, who has also participated in it a number of times. During their ten day stay, volunteers often engage in multiple activities such as building gardens, tending to water wells and spending time with village children. Elliott said that both this year and last, she received a lot of support from art and photography teacher Tiffany Asha who suggested bringing the project to the community. 

“It was actually Ms. Asha’s idea because I was making [the bracelets] in her class and she really supported me a lot when I came back from my trip to Rwanda last year,” Elliott said. “She was asking me about what I was doing this year and so it was her idea to open it up to her students.” 

With a goal of 200 bracelets, Elliot has found different ways to promote her project through social media and with the help of Asha. Two other schools are also supporting the project, along with a handful of CP students. She said that the bracelet making is a great way for students to help others and participate in a worthy cause.

“They are such an uplifting, happy community [in Rwanda],” Elliott said. “They love knowing that other people from across the world, like the kids, are thinking of them and making bracelets, thinking of them and for them. They love anything that came from the U.S.” 

Elliott’s family sponsors two children in Rwanda, helping them attend school and receive an education. She said that one of her favorite parts about visiting Rwanda last year was getting to meet and spend time with the children her family sponsors, as well as other kids.

“My favorite memories [were], probably [when] I got to hang out with my sponsor child in between working,” Elliot said. “And I got to work with him sometimes too because he would take a day off of school. Definitely being able to spend time with him.”

Elliott said that she hopes to continue helping villages in Rwanda, and even plans on attending college there after she graduates. She hopes to continue making bracelets and wishes that the project continues after she graduates.

“Rwanda is definitely looking like it’s going to be a big part of my future no matter what happens in college,” Elliot said. “I’ll still continue to bring bracelets with me beforehand, but I might be able to have a bigger impact learning and teaching there.”

If you wish to donate to this cause, bracelets are due to Asha or Elliott this Friday in room 4002. Special DENs are open in Asha’s room during the week if you wish to learn how to make bracelets and further participate in the project. For more information about the project, contact Asha or Elliott.