By Doris Christelis, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – The Marlborough Rotary Club is now in the jewelry business. The club has launched a fundraiser selling “Beads for Hope” bracelets to benefit the education of Nicaraguan children living in poverty. Proceeds from the sale of the bracelets go directly to the schools in Chinandega, Nicaragua, founded by Father Marco Desi, that work to lift these children out of poverty.
Susanne Morreale Leeber, chair of the Beads for Hope Fundraiser for the Marlborough Rotary Club, and president of the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce, explained.
“These impoverished children, best known as the Children of the Dump, would from the age of 6 and up, spend their mornings sifting through the city dump looking for morsels of food they could bring back to their families to eat, or discarded household items that they could resell,” Leeber said.
In 1998 Father Marco Desi started The School of the Children of the Dump with 90 students. Today, the school has over 500 students, and graduates have the opportunity to go on to promising careers.
“Thanks to help from Rotary International, these children can look to a brighter future, ending the cycle of poverty,” Leeber added.
The school is funded by donations as well as sales from jewelry made by its affiliate, the Betania Trading School.
After the success of the School of the Children of the Dump, Father Desi founded the Betania Trade School in 2003. Here, older children, aged 12 to 17, learn various skills including bead making. The children work with donated materials and make unique beads from recycled wallpaper. The bead bracelets are sold through affiliates of Rotary International.
Now through the holidays, Marlborough's Rotary Club is selling the bracelets for $10 each, 3 for $25 or 5 for $40. The bracelets have been well received and over 80 have already been sold, raising over $400 to date. Bracelets will be sold at the Rotary's upcoming Turkey Shoot in November. Interested customers can also contact the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce at 508-485-7746 for information on how to purchase the bracelets.