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      The Bead Ladies of the Savanette

      Part of the mission of Missions International of America is to help the village of Savanette, Haiti develop into a community whereby its residents can establish an economy in which they could make money to support their families. One of the projects that is helping this mission come to pass is the "Beads" program. The "Beads" program is the brainchild of Missions International of America co-founder Jan Nielsen. "We've been doing this for about two years; I had this idea that we could use magazine paper to make bracelets and all kinds of things and for some of these women, they have never had the opportunity to make money before," Mrs. Nielsen said.

      The program started in 2009 with 12 people; it has now risen to 48. During the MIA's March trip to the Savanette, Jan collected new merchandise from program members and gave them each an advance of about $150. "It's created pride in them and last year each of these women made $400 each selling these beautiful crosses and bracelets and tote bags, and $400 is more than the average Haitian income," Mrs. Nielsen said.

      To learn more about Missions International of America visit their website www.missionsinternationalofamerica.com and to see some of the merchandise made by the "Bead Ladies' visit www.haitiancircleoflife.com.