Heart cries for ethical accessories

Heart Cry International is a non-profit organization teaching accessory making skills to help widowed women of Africa who are struggling to support their families.

Bags are constructed using corn stalks and palm branches by the widowed women helped by Heart Cry International. (Jordan Reed)

Heart Cry International is a non-profit organization whose headquarters are located here on the campus of CMU. Its goal is to transform nations like Haiti, Uganda and Nigeria through discipleship and humanitarian projects that target children of poverty, abuse and abandonment.

Family from Uganda helped by the Widow's Hope program. (Photograph by Pastor Carla).

Pastor Carla Ives, founder of Heart Cry International, has many missions, but one in particular is the Widow’s Hope project. Widow’s Hope helps impoverished, single women in Africa who are struggling to provide for their families. These women have been widowed, deserted, and/or live with HIV/AIDS in slums. It is often that they must make the choice of leaving their children in orphanages where they will be taken care of because these women are unable to supply to their children basic needs like food, water and shelter.

Heart Cry works with Sarah Kysooka, who runs the jewelry business in Uganda, to establish an eBay business for these widowed women.  They are able to sell their handcrafted jewelry, purses and baskets so they can become independent women who are able to take care of their families.

Central Michigan sophomore Gina Wymore is the president of the World Changers RSO and is a Heart Cry International intern for this academic semester.

“Widow’s Hope is a wonderful program because it provides these less fortunate and often dying women with an opportunity to provide for there families,” Wymore said.

People are able to purchase purses for $20 to $25, bracelets for $5, earrings for $10, necklaces for $15 and ornamental baskets. Techniques for jewelry making and weaving are taught skills so the women can make a living and earn for their families.

The women use morphed and painted paper as well as dried seeds to make beads for the jewelry. Corn stalks and palm branches are transformed into art as they construct purses and coin holders out of them.

Pastor Carla Ives hopes to soon incorporate a sewing business for these women to make clothes.

Not only are these things available on eBay, but also at the Heart Cry International Office which is located on Bellows street between Franklin and University right next to University Cup, and at the CMU bookstore. These are inexpensive, beautifully handcrafted items that are perfect for gifts or even for just you. When you purchase these items it is truly a blessing to the women, whose only source of income for their family comes from Widow’s Hope.

Jewelry available for purchase to help widowed women of Africa. (Jordan Reed)

To shop online for these handcrafted products:

1.) Go to eBay’s homepage and scroll to the very bottom.

2.) Under the BUY section, click on Stores, which is the fifth section down.

3.) Under “Search for a Store,” type in Ozarklady Workshop, click the circle that says By Store name underneath, and then Search.

4.) Click on the purple letters that says Ozarklady Workshop.

5.) African handcrafts sold on pages one through three.

6.)  Or visit the Heart Cry Office or CMU Bookstore!