Sunday, December 6, 2009

Atlanta Journal-Constitution headlines "Baskets full of ambition"

Guest author: Tamar Orvell

Sold! At the Trinity Presbyterian Church
Global Mission Christmas Market,
Bhutanese-woven kudzu basket sales help

weavers' families
 pay rent, buy food, ride MARTA

Today and next Sunday after morning worship services, Trinity's Global Mission Christmas Market offers parishioners alternative gift giving opportunities. How? By bringing crafts of indigenous artisans in far-flung climes for sale here. The aim in doing this holy work? Benefiting church global mission efforts and relationships in Cuba, Kenya, Zambia, El Salvador, the Middle East and ... our Bhutanese refugee neighbors!

On the long table covered with an array of woven kudzu baskets (with an overflow below and on both sides), is a fresh copy (prominently displayed) of the morning's Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, Baskets full of ambition:
 Hard-working refugees weave kudzu into means of supporting families. Reporter Helena Oliviero begins her clear, comprehensive profile of the basket weavers' and their community — their complicated journey and local allies:
When a group of Bhutanese refugees set out to plant a community garden in September, the would-be growers found themselves knee deep in the south's leafy headache: kudzu.

The 12 families ripped, tugged and yanked the pesty vine, but the weed had taken control of the forgotten patch of green behind their apartment complex.

Yet, the newcomers suddenly saw this old problem in a new way: They saw a purpose, even opportunity and beauty in the vine everyone else loves to hate. [Read the rest of the story published December 6, 2009, Living Section, page E13 here, with photos (pdf) or here (text only)].
Update | Saturday, December 19, 2009  Today, last three farmers' markets to buy kudzu baskets before Christmas. Demos and sales all locations. (1) Morningside Farmers' Market at 1393 N. Highland NE 30306. 8-11:30AM. (2) Peachtree Rd. Farmers' Market at Cathedral St. Phillip, 2744 Peachtree Rd. NW 30305. 8:30AM – Noon. (3) Whole Foods Market - Buckhead at 77 W Paces Ferry Rd NW 30305. 1-4PM. Also, buy kudzu basket at these citywide venues until supplies run out this season. For more information, contact Bhutan Baskets.

In the photo
Bishnu Odari records the name of the artisan whose basket is bringing smiles to its purchaser. The tracking system ensures that each of the 50 plus artisans in her Bhutanese community is paid for their baskets sold.

The Druid Hills High School senior helps to support her family while studying hard, playing hard, and planning for a  career in nursing. Bishnu arrived here less than two years ago with her family from United Nations-run refugee camps in eastern Nepal, where they were living nearly 17 years — victims of ethnic cleansing in Bhutan, their homeland. 

Related posts

No comments: