An African Jewelry Making Workshop will be hosted by ATEG (Arts to End Genocide), a New Bern non-profit, on Saturday, August 21st at the J. Murphy Smith Center, 508 Middle Street, New Bern. This free event will offer guided instructions on how to make a unique bracelet and pair of earrings with wooden and African hand-crafted glass beads. Participants can be creative to design and keep the jewelry they make and will also have an opportunity to purchase additional jewelry making kits or individual beads.
The event will follow any NC guidelines and recommendations for public events so to ensure proper distancing guidelines, two workshop sessions of 125 participants each are scheduled. The first session will be from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. and the second session will run from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. Hand-sanitizer and masks will be available, and masks will be required for anyone who has not yet been vaccinated.
ATEG is hosting this event as a fundraiser to arrange for relocating 1,000 IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) including 500 children in the City of Bamako to begin a new life in a safer and healthier rural area. Driven from their homes in Central Mali, West Africa, by terrorism and fighting over the past two years, families and orphaned children were able to find refuge in a garbage dump where they are able to forage for food and items to sell. However, they are exposed to the most deplorable conditions which create major health, nutrition and safety issues. “Our ATEG team, here and in Mali, are working with other international and local government leaders to resettle this community to a safe, clean living environment on donated land that will allow them to farm and raise livestock,” said ATEG founder and New Bern resident Mitch Lewis. “Relocation will allow for a sustainable improvement leading to food security, income opportunities, and regaining a sense of independence and dignity for these refugees and to ensure a better future for the children,” he explained. While the Jewelry Making Workshop is free to the public, sponsorships and donations, as well as the purchase of additional jewelry kits and beads, will raise funds critically needed to build shelters, wells, and latrines at the relocation site.
Pre-registration is required to allow proper planning for instruction and supplies. Go to artstoendgenocide.org to register or call Mitch Lewis at 252-670-1339. This event is not recommended for children under 12 years of age.
Submitted by Deedra Durocher on behalf of Founder Mitch Lewis