On my first day of work in Karama, I opened the door to hear the gentle laughter of volunteers. I didn't know it, but these kind souls were creating giant impact across the world. There's a spirit and energy in Karama unlike any place I've been. And that spirit dwells within the volunteers, the Karama Mamas. These women are essential to our mission, and we would not be able to operate without them. As they joyfully give of their time and talents to support other mamas and families across the world, they bloom! Today, we would like to give you the inside scoop of why these mamas do what they do at Karama and what they really want for Mother's Day.
God’s bigger story
Speaking with Mamas Barby, Linda, and Jane, I felt the current of their deep love for the Lord overflowing to others. I asked each of them how they have been impacted by volunteering, and they shared that the friendships they have formed and strengthened have been priceless. Barby shared, “Being with my friends and serving God… What could be better?”
Both Barby and Jane have visited Africa and met many of our artisans in person. They were able to see firsthand how God is working through Karama to restore lives and give artisans purposeful work so that they are able to provide for their families. It is no doubt that as our Karama Mamas serve wholeheartedly, lives are being impacted: both the artisans and theirs. Mama Linda says, “Volunteering is a small way for me to thank God for all He has given me.” As our Mamas give of themselves, they are a small, yet significant part of God’s bigger story.
When asked how volunteering has changed their perspective of material goods, our Mamas were quick to explain that they no longer care about excess. In America, it can be easy to chase after a lot of unnecessary items, but both Barby and Jane shared that after visiting poverty-stricken areas in Africa, their love for things has transformed instead into love for people.
These women along with our other Mamas are now able to see the beauty in our artisans’ unique and handmade items. Jane shares, “It amazes me the amount of love and care that goes into making something by hand versus something that is produced by a machine.” Their perspective of material goods has certainly changed; God has opened their eyes to see the beauty in the handmade products and most importantly, the value of the people who make them.
Women of all ages who gather around the tables at Karama to talk, laugh, and most importantly, serve, have gained a global worldview. Mama Jane shares, “I often think about people that I know in these other countries that are working hard to produce items that will help them make a paycheck to send their kids to school and put food on the table.” The other Mamas echo Jane’s words and believe in sharing what God has given them to benefit others.
Mama Linda shares that she can do work towards good as an individual, but as an individual who is part of a group, much more can be accomplished. Instead of thinking only about their own tiny corner of the world, our Mamas are mission-minded and believe in the good work that God is doing. Not only do artisans and Young Life kids bloom, women in our community bloom as they think globally and contribute to the well-being of artisans.
Mama’s Top Gifts
We took a moment to ask some of our Karama Mamas what their favorite Mother’s Day gifts are! Their answers varied, but they each shared that they love handmade items and gifts that from the heart.
Mama Linda’s favorite is the lovely leather journal. It reminds her of when she gave her mom a journal and wrote a special letter detailing fond memories of growing up and thanking her for her patience. Linda shared, “It was more meaningful to my mom than anything I had ever given her.”
Mama Jane has many favorites, one being the Kampala set. She shares, “I love the ethical and unique use of the horn. Instead of wasting it, the discarded horns are used to make something beautiful!” Jane also likes our items that are made in a deaf and disabled workshop in Tanzania. Some of these items include the pencil cases and owls.
Still need more ideas for Mother’s Day? Shop our online store to find something lovely and unique for the special ladies in your life that they will cherish for years to come!