Awhile back I wrote about an amazing project in Malawi called the Jacaranda School for Orphans. It is a place where children have the opportunity to go to school and learn a craft to help them support themselves. I have a friend who went over and taught some of the women how to do makeup so they would have a trade. I sent over makeup brushes and makeup for them to have to start their careers. I just received an update of what is happening and it was not only exciting to see how much they embraced this practice but how I felt being a very small part of it.
I only mention how I felt and how I still feel because it took me by surprise how I reacted. I saw pictures of the women learning and seeing their beautiful faces after they had the makeup applied to them. I saw their designated makeup teacher, Tadala, demonstrating what my friend Tracey had lovingly taught her. I saw the small room where the instruction took place. Pictures of four women who had received their special make up kits and how they held them so proudly as if someone had given them the crown jewels.
And then I saw on the table my brushes and makeup I had sent and I was overcome with emotion. There was my makeup from a line I had sitting on the table so many miles from my home and being used! Tears started to flow at realizing how much a few brushes and some makeup can make these women so happy and fulfilled. One of the women told the school’s owner and founder, Marie Da Silva, how the makeup had made her feel beautiful when she left school. The picture of her with a big smile meant so much to me. Right then I felt such a connection with a woman thousands of miles away. And all of the stories and sayings of how small this world is truly came to light.
The program is so popular that they have to divide the classes to make sure everyone gets the instruction they need. They are looking to open their own businesses doing makeup. They are proud that they are creating and at the same time learning a skill that will give them the freedom to choose their future.
What has inspired me about these women and so many like them is that in the midst of what seems to be such a large mountain to scale they find the courage and strength to embrace with dignity the opportunity they have been given. My day to day makeup tasks are made a bit sweeter knowing that half way around the world women are using my same tools. Tools which were once in my possession are now giving great pleasure and satisfaction to them. Thank you Tracey for this wonderful opportunity.