Projects

Tina Cornely visits JWF
Our founder Tina Cornely visits the Women’s Centre Foundation of Jamaica in Queen Anne’s Bay where she taught their students the Cycle Bead family planning method.
Yamaican Women's Foundation
Tina demonstrating how the cycle bead system works so they young girls can better understand when they are fertile.
This student aligned her beads correctly
This student aligned her beads correctly. There are 32 beads total in the cycle bead system. Red denotes the day their period starts. Eight days afterwards is when they are fertile. It is between the 8th and 19th day when women can get pregnant. I like to use the green color because to me it represent growth and fertility.
Jamaican Craft Shop
Tina is teaching an artisan at a Jamaican craft market how to make jewelry out of trash.
Earrings made out of a beer can
Tina taught this Jamaican artisan how to make jewelry hardware and embellishments out of inner tubes, plastic bottles and aluminum cans. These earrings where made out of a beer can. Cutting tools and die presses are donated to the vendors.
San Juan del Potrero Highschool
Honduran students from the San Juan del Potrero Highschool weaving plarn (plastic bag yarn) into kumihimo braided bracelets. Kumihimo braiding is a traditional Japanese technique of braiding strands of different colors into a strong rope.
Students from the San Juan del Potrero Highschool
Students from the Instituto Ruben Barahona Oviedo in San Jose del Potrero, Honduras. Tina asked the students to bring their chairs outside so she could teach the entire school (male and female) how to do their family planning using the cycle bead system. One young male student asked why they were never taught this technique of family planning before? He said his teenage sister recently died in childbirth, a tragic death that could have been avoided.
Cycle Beads
Over three hundred Family Planning Cycle Beads were donated to the students of the San Jose del Potrero highschool. The students were also taught how to make their own family planning beads made out of reclaimed materials.
Foldscope origami paper microscope
Tina taught the students from San Juan del Potrero Highschool how to use an origami paper foldscope so they could identify zika larvae. Zika was prevalent at the time so she taught them various methods for repelling mosquitos as well as the importance of conducting regular vector control. Fifty foldscopes were donated to the highschool.
Las Minas de Oro
Tina also conducted Family Planning Training in the rural farming community of Las Minas de Oro, Honduras.

Women from the village of Ukit-Ukit
The women from the village of Ukit-Ukit located in the heart of West Kalimatan, Borneo. Tina in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund travelled to teach the women living in remote villages how to do their family planning with the cycle bead system and to craft with trash.
Crafters from Borneo
The women living in the remote jungle area of the West Kalimatan, Borneo are adept at crafters. Their life is spent foraging, harvesting and crafting. Their traditional crafting has not changed much. However, they rarely make their own beads and sequins. Instead, they have to purchase them. Tina taught the villagers how to make sequins out of discarded plastic bottles and aluminum cans. She also taught them how to make beads out of discarded cardboard boxes and plarn (plastic bag yarn).
Ukit-Ukit, Borneo
Crafters from Ukit-Ukit, Borneo learning how to use die punches to make decorative jewelry out of discarded plastic bottles and aluminum soda cans.
Crafters from Ukit-Ukit
Crafters from Ukit-Ukit learning how to make plastic bag yarn and then using the plarn to braid to create Kumihimo bracelets.
Earrings carved out of discarded straws
Hilaria is wearing earrings she carved out of discarded straws. Jewelry making classes included how to make jewelry clasps, earring hardware and beads out of cardboard. Tools were donated by Bridging Humanity to the community tool chest.
Examples of repurposed straws
Examples of repurposed art made from discarded straws, plastic bags, plastic bottles, plarn and aluminum cans.
Plarn slippers
Plarn slippers made by the women of Ukit-Ukit.
Using bamboo to make pudding popsicles
No matter how far, and remote places I travel to, I always learn something amazing. In the jungles of Borneo my crafting friends taught me how to use bamboo stalks to make pudding popsicles. In the above noted photo, the ladies have stuffed rice that was soaked coconut milk to each bamboo stalk. They cut the bottom of the bamboo right underneath the knuckle so the rice and coconut milk do not leak out. They cork the top with a rolled up banana leaf. The bamboo is roasted and left to cool. The cooked bamboo peels like a banana and reveals the cooked rice pudding. You eat the pudding just like you were eating a popsicle.
The women from the village of Ukit-Ukit Borneo
This photo was taken on my last day in Ukit-Ukit. The women loved their crafting classes and very much appreciated learning how to do their family planning with the cycle bead system. They confessed that the government provides free contraceptive shots. However they preferred not to have the shots because of the side effects (weight gain, nausea, and depression). They were relieved they now had an effective and discrete way to do their family planning.

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Tina with the pregnant women residing at the Casa Materna (home for pregnant women) in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua where she gave family planning classes to over 60 pregnant women. Family planning is not taught in Latin America. This is why Tina is passionate about empowering women with knowledge so they can understand their bodies better. The family planning cycle bead system is a calendar that helps them know when they are fertile. This simple tool helps them plan how many children they want, and space out their births accordingly.
Young mother from San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
This young mother from central Nicaragua had just given birth. She lives on a remote farm and had to walk for miles, and cross rivers (while pregnant) so she could catch a a bus to San Juan del Sur. She was allowed to live at the Casa Materna for 2 months up until she gave birth. She thanked me for teaching her the family planning cycle bead system. She said she could not wait to return so she could share this information with her friends who lived near her remote farm. Nota Bene: The necklace I am wearing is family planning necklace (fertility calendar). I retrofitted rosaries into family planning necklaces for this trip. After my class with the pregnant residents, I asked which necklace they preferred. They had three options- the plain cycle bead necklace, decorative necklaces and the retrofitted rosaries. The majority of the young residents chose the retrofitted rosaries.
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Tina showing the young pregnant resident of the Casa Materna in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua how to make purses out of plarn (plastic bag yarn). The pregnant young girl in this photo is 12 years old.
Radio station in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
While in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, Tina and her young farmer friend gave a live radio talk about how to make natural, non toxic pesticides for treating coffee rusts.
Homeless man Don Esmilio
Everyday when Tina walked to the Casa Materna, she came across this homeless man. She marveled at how he blessed everyone who crossed his path. However, no one paid attention to him. He was invisible. She greeted her homeless friend everyday. One day, she turned around, walked back, and finally spoke to him. Tina learned his name was Don Esmilio She asked if he needed anything. He said shoes, and lifted his foot which left the sole dangling and flapping in the air. Anything else? He said a new baseball cap . Tina purchased his wish list items, and returned within the hour to present them to him. When he took off his old baseball cap, Tina noticed something was moving all over his matted hair. A closer inspection helped her determine they were lice, thousands of them! Tina left immediately in search of a barber. She found one not too far away and asked the barber if would cut, and wash Don Esmilio’s hair. He said yes, but it had to be done outside of his barber shop. Armed with gloves, and a garbage bag, they managed to cut Don Esmilio’s matted, lice ridden hair. When she asked the barber how much she owed him, he said “nothing”. The next day on Tina’s walk to the Casa Materna, she noticed pedestrians were greeting Don Esmilio. A lady walked across the street, and gave him a plate of food. Unbeknownst to Tina, the towns people had been watching her with Don Esmilio. Now, he was no longer homeless as the town of San Juan del Sur had finally adopted him.
Sakya Buddhist Monastery in Pokhara, Nepal
The Pema Ts’al Monastery is located in beautiful Pokhara, Nepal. Tina was invited by the Director of the monastery to live on site for three months. Her quest was to teach the monks to not litter as they were prolific polluters. While there, Tina did more than teach the monks how to turn trash into art, she also taught them physics, western religion, as well as biodiversity and permaculture gardening.
Pema Ts'al College Boys
Here are some of Tina’s students and Pema Ts’al College Boys.
Pema Ts'al Baby Monks
Here are some of the fearless Pema Ts’al Baby Monks after scaling a cliff behind the monastery. The age of the monks range from 3 to 80 years old.
Repurposing Trash Lecture at Pema Ts'al Monastery
As a wrap-up after her 3 month stay, Tina gave a Final Repurposing Trash Lecture at the Pema Ts’al Monastery before a group of about 75. students.
Young monks showing off their recycled art
Young monks showing off their recycled art to Tina. They also presented her with a traditional silk scarf that had been blessed by a visiting high buddhist monk (who is also related to the Nepali Royal Family).
Remote village outside of Bhaktapur, Nepal
While in Nepal, Tina visited remote villages where she taught family planning classes. This is a small village outside of Bhaktapur, Nepal.
Family Planning Cycle Bead Necklace
Tina showing the village women how to make Family Planning Cycle Bead Necklaces. We used clips donated by the Red Shoe Movement so the women could count the days after their menstruation cycle started. Women are fertile between the 8th and 19th day after their period commences.
Village girls in ceremonial costume
Some of the village girls we taught family planning are wearing their traditional ceremonial costumes.
Orphelinat Niaber
At the request of a concerned sponsor, Tina visited the Orphelinat Niaber during the Bamako, Mali Civil War. Tina brought desperately emergency supplies. While on site she noticed the city was suffering from power grid shortages so she purchased solar lights that doubled as cell phone chargers. These solar lights helped the nurses at night take better care for the sick, orphaned babies. The solar light also powered the staff’s cell phones which was a tremendous help as most of the staff lived in shelters without power.
Training at the Orphelinat Niaber
Tina conducted recycled trash training classes during her stay at the Orphelinat Niaber in Bamako, Mali.
Orphelinat Niaber
The young girl on the left is a Traureg. She and her mother were attacked by extremist soldiers and fled to the Orphelinat Niaber for protection and assistance. The young girl on the right was sold to her uncle. She was given the charge to care for her aged uncle who had leprosy. She was gang raped so her uncle abandoned her at the orphanage where she gave birth to her child.
Orphelinat Niaber
The above noted toddler is the son of the young girl who was raped and then abandoned by her uncle at the Orphelinat Niaber. Her son continues living under the care of the orphanage. Tragically rape is common in Mali. Out of fear pregnant girls leave their babies at hospitals or in boxes on the side of the road. When ever an abandoned baby is discovered, they are taken to the Orphelinat Niaber.
Orphelinat Niaber
Tina taught the staff of the Orphelinat Niaber how to grow a permaculture/biodiversity garden that was “goat” proof. Herds of goats had thwarted their previous gardening attempts. Tina’s unique system protected the garden from monsoon rains and foraging wild animals.
Slums of Port au Prince Haiti
Tina visited the slums of Port au Prince Haiti where she conducted recycled trash art classes and family planning training.
Haitian School for Disabled Children
While in Haiti Tina visited a School for Disabled Children where she donated Christmas toys.
Haitian School for Children with Disabilities
A young blind student from the Haitian School for Children with Disabilities receiving her Christmas toy.
Haitian Slum
Little girl living in a Haitian slum wearing her best dress to receive her Christmas present.
Haitian Club Athletique
The young boys from the Haitian Soccer Club Athletique receiving their t-shirts and baseball caps donated by the Miami Marlins.
Haitian Club Athletique
Tina with the help of the Captain Planet Foundation planted Moringa trees at the Haitian Club Athletique. Moringa is nutritious and better than a multivitamin. Therefore Tina taught their cook how to make Moringa pesto sauce and spaghetti for the children attending the Haitian Club Athletique. The Club Athletique teaches soccer to about 2000+ poor children from the nearby tent Cite de Soleil.

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