A SPECIAL PROJECT

CREATE YOUR STYLE AND “MENSCHEN FÜR MENSCHEN”

 Image In 1981, the Austrian actor Karlheinz Böhm, best known for his role as Emperor Franz-Joseph in the “Sissi” film series, founded “Menschen für Menschen” with the aim of helping refugees in some of Ethiopia’s most impoverished regions. Today, the organization continues to work tirelessly for the common good of the Ethiopian people, in a vast range of initiatives and projects that include providing young girls with a high school education.

Recently, CREATE YOUR STYLE with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS entered the fray as well, tapping into the creativity of students at a “Menschen für Menschen” boarding school during a series of jewelry-making workshops led by the company’s professional CREATE YOUR STYLE instructor. The 16-yearolds jumped at the opportunity to create jewelry with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS under the guidance of the experts.


The results were overwhelming! The girls were incredibly creative. The instructor reported that the participants were so enthusiastic during workshops that they were reluctant to even take breaks. By the time the workshops drew to a close, they were justifiably proud of their accomplishments, and gave their visitors a tearful farewell at the end of the week. All tools and supplies used in the workshop were left at the school so that the girls may continue to use them to create jewelry and to further refine their jewelry-making craft.

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 Image One person’s designs really struck the eye. Those of tenth-grader Mextuha Ahmed, who even invited the CREATE YOUR STYLE team members into her home for a visit. Mextuha grew up in her native village of Shambe, which is located about an hour’s walk (and walk one must, as there are no roads that lead there) from the school. She is a member of the Oromo ethnic group. During her first year of school her mother died, and after her father’s new wife subsequently turned her away, she moved in with her brother, whose singleroom house she now shares with him, his wife and their four children. Once Mextuha’s brother could no longer afford to support her, “Menschen für Menschen” took over, and now issues Mextuha a monthly stipend of 150 birr to improve her future opportunities.


 Image Thanks to the help of “Menschen für Menschen” she is able to continue with her schooling and work steadily toward a brighter, more self -sufficient future. Her design was made into a key ring, which is now available commercially as part of the “BUILDING FUTURES” project at CREATE YOUR STYLE with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS customers in the United States, at Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, Austria, as well as Swarovski Crystal Gallery in Innsbruck, Austria. All profits obtained from sales of the key ring will be donated to “Menschen für Menschen”. The “Menschen für Menschen” school engaged in the project is located in Babile, and is just one of a number of the organization’s schools that rely on financial assistance from individuals or companies such as Swarovski. For Swarovski and “Menschen für Menschen”, the project was the first step in what Swarovski envisions as a long-term partner ship.

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