WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield High School sophomore Dori Kaplan was in seventh grade when she first heard about child slavery in Ghana and an organization called Breaking the Chains Through Education (BTCTE), which buys the freedom of child slaves, reunites them with their families and helps them get education and enough food for their families.
“I learned about breaking the chain four years ago at summer camp,” Kaplan said. “I was immediately struck by the contrast between my life and the life of the kids in Ghana. I have access to great education and the hardest work I have to do all day is maybe a school assignment. These kids, on the other hand, are living below the poverty line, are neglected the opportunity for education. They live in a much less developed society and have a lot fewer opportunities than I do. I was very inspired by the presentation and knew right away this was an organization I wanted to work with. “
Kaplan, a member of Temple Beth El Mekor Chayim in Cranford, raised $6,000 that year for BTCTE for her bat mitzvah service project. Now she wants to give more by donating 10 percent of sales of the handmade beaded jewelry she makes to the organization.
“My jewelry is made of wire and glass beads. Recently, I also started making jewelry from motherboards that I took from my old DS,” the teen said. “I usually get my inspiration from the beads. I choose a certain color or bead that I would like to work with and create a design around it.”
This Sunday, Nov. 20, she’ll sell her necklaces, earrings, bracelets and other items at the YM-YWHA of Union County’s holiday fair from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 501 Green Lane in Union.
You can also order through her website, http://jewelrybydori.blogspot.com/. Prices range from $5 to $30, and there’s no additional fee for custom orders.