On Sunday 11th August, RIJ held its second and final children’s workshop. Escaping the summer heatwave in the air-conditioned luxury of Roppongi Hills West Walk, a team of generous volunteers worked with children to make their own bracelets and bags out of handmade beads and recycled newspaper.

Modeling the gift bag-bracelet combo

The day was busy from start to finish with children eager to get creative and learn new skills. We were lucky enough to work with beautiful beads handmade by Ugandan refugees, so not only were the children (and adults alike) having a great time creating their own accessories, but also they were simultaneously helping these women rebuild their lives after the trauma of being forced from their homes.

One boy proves that bracelets are definitely not just for girls!
Selecting from such a large range of bead colors and designs proved difficult at times!

As a new volunteer at RIJ, stationed in the bracelet-making team, it was fantastic to see the joy the organization brought to the community here in Tokyo. I had a lot of fun creating the bracelets together with the enthusiastic children, all of whom picked up the intricate design faster than you could say “Tiffany & Co.”!

Fun for the whole family!

The day would not have been such a great success if not for the fantastic kids, dedicated volunteers and supportive parents. By showing up, donating and getting creative, everybody involved in the workshop aided RIJ in their work giving hope to refugees and displaced people around the world.  All proceeds raised on the day of course will go directly to projects that help rebuild lives torn apart by war and conflict.

A huge thank you to all those who came on Sunday and supported our cause.  Every donation to make a bracelet or gift bag can go a long way in transforming a refugee’s life and aiding in their ultimate objective: finding a way back home!


Isabel Kelpie