Wednesday 2 November 2011
Eradicating Poverty One Bead at a Time
Beadorlife eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colourful reycled paper into beautiful bead jewlery, and people who care open there hearts, homes and communities to buy and sell the beads. The beads become income, food, medicine, school fees and hope. It is a small miracle that connects and enriches everyone involved.
How Beads for Life Began
BeadforLife began with a chance encounter between a Ugandan woman, Millie, who was rolling beads near her mud home, and the founders, Torkin Wakefield, Ginny Jordan, and Devin Hibbard. Stopping to admire the beads, the women learned that there was no market for her jewelry, and that Millie worked for a dollar a day in a rock quarry crushing stones in the hot sun. They admired her paper beads and bought a few, never realizing that their lives, and the lives of so many impoverished Ugandans, were about to change.
When friends at home admired the beads, the three women realized that there might be a market after all. Torkin returned to Uganda, and Devin and Ginny began to develop a marketing strategy. In Uganda, Torkin held classes to improve the quality of the beads and develop several styles of necklaces and bracelets. Soon women in the US began to hear the stories of the beaders and buy their beautiful jewelry.
In September of 2004 the founders launched BeadforLife in the belief that they could build bridges of understanding and commerce. Little did we know what an amazing endeavor was being born.
BeadforLife Launches a Cottage Industry Throughout Uganda
When BeadforLife did its first unsophisticated market research by going to several dozen stores in Kampala we did not find one vendor selling paper beads. Now, three years later, paper beads are everywhere. Many other non-profit groups, and for-profit individuals are now selling paper beads. Locally, many low-income women are finding small markets for their beads. We are happy to have launched this cottage industry in Uganda and take pride in knowing that we have helped thousands of unknown people find an income through beads.
We was kindly sent a lovely bracelet to review by the lovely people from Beads for Life, when it arrived it came in a lovely mesh bag, When i took it out the bag i had to look really closely to see it was made from paper, to me it looked like any other bead you can buy these bracelets are incredible and you can tell there has been a lot of time and effort put in to making them.
Bead for Life products are the perfect gift- they help women and children a world away, they are environmentally friendly, made from recycled paper.
You can find more of there beautiful bracelets or other jewellery on the website at
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