Monday, October 3, 2011 - Creating Sustainable Communities

Imagine wearing a bracelet hand rolled out of recycled paper. What if I told you that many of the women who crafted these bracelets were Ugandan mothers with HIV  or war refugees, all of which are suffering from extreme poverty? What if I told you that buy purchasing a bracelet you are helping these women (and some men) help themselves.

The goal of the BeadforLife program is simply to have their members become independent and self-sustaining. All net profits earned through BeadforLife sales are invested into holistic programs designed to eradicate poverty. These beads are made as part of the income generation program. One of the various programs that BeadforLife offers is a membership program in which beaders are trained to roll beads and make jewelry which is then bought from each beader twice a month at fair trade prices.

What can you do to help?

Among the many programs that BeadforLife offers one of the more interesting is the option to host a Bead Party. This can be done in your Home, Office or Community... heck, this can be done on Twitter. The bead parties are given by volunteer hosts in an effort to raise awareness about poverty. It is a great time to see the beads and share all of the amazing inspiring stories of the beaders. Not really much of a host/hostess? Read on...

Beadforlife's income generation program is not limited to rolling beads. 450 women and their families in rural Northern Uganda are rebuilding their lives by collecting shea nuts. A living example of this would be Akite Grace, a 37 year old woman. She cares for 9 children, has never set foot inside a school and was "inherited" by her brother in law after the death of her first husband. She and her 7 and 8 year old daughters were nearly abducted by rebels, but after realizing she had an injured leg and could not walk easily, they took Grace's 11 year old niece instead. She has not been seen since.

When BeadforLife first met Grace she was struggling to support her family, she has now located her children to a remote bit of land where they are trying their best to farm local crops. With the markets that BeadforLife is creating Grace will have an income to buy a bull to plow the land so she can grow more food and pay school fees so that all of her children can go to school!

To support this cause and help women like Akite Grace, please purchase something for the BeadforLifeStore!

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