Memos From the Movement: A Note From Hannah Blatt

Memos From the Movement

Dear Ibu Allies,

One of the most wonderful parts of my job is seeing up-close the incredible ingenuity of women who transform Ibu grant money into growing opportunities for others in their communities. With each project completed, I learn of more women engaging in life-sustaining work, new skills developed, efficiencies gained, and new markets tapped. I also love sharing with you the impact that your generosity has made possible. Today, two exciting developments…BeadWORKS, Kenya-Telling the Story

1,300 women in Northern Kenya, gathered in the collective, BeadWORKS, create stunning work using their traditional beading skills. We know you love their Ibu collars and bangles, keychains, dog leashes, and ornaments; and our Ibu Donor Trip participants loved meeting them and hearing their stories. But we want the world to know and love them!

A generous donor, who understands the need to tell the story far and wide, provided the opportunity to do so. Through a grant from the Ibu Foundation, BeadWORKS has engaged award-winning documentary filmmaker, Martin Buzora, to create a video about the women and their work, their life changes, their hope. Buzora, whose work celebrates a diverstiy of human cultures, is excited to report the field shooting is complete, the final edits are in the works. I can’t wait to show you the finished product.

Bien Abyé, Haiti-Workplace and Equipment

Haiti's civil discord and natural disasters continue to challenge its citizens—including our partners at Bien Abyé who craft stunning beaded handbags, silk headbands, and soon-to-be-revealed embroidered clothing designs for Ibu. The women in Port-Au-Prince have been threatened by severe gang violence and their equipment stolen or damaged—the conditions forcing them to evacuate their workspace. In response, the Ibu Foundation provided funding for the women to move to a safer location and to acquire new equipment. As a result, the women have flourished in this secure environment, found increased efficiency and quality control with new equipment, and worked together to overcome daily challenges. Regular reports from their founder, Dayanne Danier, allow us to celebrate and support the resilence and courage of these women in the face of Haiti's grave uncertainties.

Thank you for allowing me to share these triumphs with you, and for continuing to provide the important financial support that makes these grants possible. There are so many women dreaming big and working tirelessly to reach their goals. I am grateful that we can be a part of their path forward. 

With Gratitude,
Hannah Blatt 
Director of Artisan Support