• Benjamin Watts

IMARA Mom’s Quarantine Crafts

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a time unlike any other for the IMARA International house in Kenya. One thing for certain however, is that the resilient mothers of IMARA were going to take advantage of the quarantine time to develop and master some skills and passions that they will carry with them for a lifetime. Only being allowed to leave the house for doctor’s appointments has given the girls ample time to dive deep into the skills of sewing, baking, and beading, with several months experience under their belts now.

The vast majority of girls at IMARA house had no prior sewing experience months ago, but now have over 100 cloth napkins, 100 bibs, hot pads and pajama pants to show for their new talent. Having come from a village without power, Anastacia, a matron at the house, had never worked on an electric sewing machine before. After working to learn on the machine just a few times with Executive Director Carol Erickson, Anastacia is now not only masterful on the sewing machine, but the leader of sewing classes and projects with all of the IMARA girls. The immense progress made by the girls over the last few months is evident as Erickson says that the quality and intricacy of the girl’s work has gotten better and better. These projects serve a practical use to the girls’ of IMARA, as bibs and clothing they sew service their children, and are used in everyday life.

IMARA moms have also enhanced their skillsets in baking and beading over the last few months. Cornbread and cookies have been a frequent on the IMARA menu as the girls have enjoyed learning to perfect these recipes just as much as they do eating them afterwards. One can also now find beautiful beading covering the salt and pepper shakers around IMARA house as a respected craft of the Massai and Samburu cultures has been taken on by some of the girls. When Carol returns to America, she will be bringing with her some of the beautiful projects that the girls have worked so hard on to both display and sell.

Even through the most unparalleled of times, the faith and spirit at IMARA house in Kenya remains at an all-time high. Whether it be beautiful cloth napkins, delicious cookies, or any of the skills the girls have been delving into during the pandemic, one thing is for sure: IMARA moms continue to gain and utilize essential skills for a lifetime, and they’re having a whole lot of fun while doing it.

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