Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Amazing 'BeadsforLife' Program

'Eradicating Poverty One Bead at a Time'

I inquired about a necklace my youngest daughter was wearing ~ it was so unique yet vibrant in color and style. She rarely wears anything in jewelry except a small chain with a cross charm. She told me she bought it from a co-worker who has many jewelry pieces, as well as beads, that she bought in quantity from an organization called 'BeadforLife'. Her description prompted me to look it up on the internet. I was so excited about this discovery, that I purchased some beads from them ~ a potpourri of shapes, colors and sizes. Why is this any different than other purchases I had made? Let me go into more detail:

'BeadforLife' ~ Eradicating Poverty One Bead at a Time' is a program developed to help Ugandan women earn enough money to help support their families. "BeadforLife provides impoverished Ugandan women an opportunity to lift their families out of poverty by making beaded jewelry out of recycled paper. Many of the beaders are HIV+ mothers or refugees, all of whom are living in extreme poverty. Inspite of their hardship, the beaders are resilient, hardworking and resourceful.

Around the world, people partner with the beaders to sell beads and educate others on ways to end extreme poverty. This circle of connection enriches everyone involved." All net proceeds are invested in programs to fight poverty in the areas of health, housing, sustainable livelihood and education.

This information came in the form of a folded small card enclosed with my first order of beads. My immediate thought was that this is the way it should be ~ people helping others to help themselves. Not just pouring money into the governments whose citizenry struggle to provide even food for their families ~ these people rarely see any assistance from their government. Training people to create their own form of income, whether it be growing crops or creating beads, does much more ~ it gives them pride and that sense of accomplishment that becomes contagious with others around them. I felt blessed to be able to help these Ugandan women through purchasing their wonderful paper beads. I don't sell supplies, but I do make jewelry and will continue to create necklace and earrings sets utilizing these wonderful beads as much as possible. What I earn will be spent on further purchases from BeadforLife. Incidentally ~ you can help too. These Ugandan women have created beautiful jewelry which you can purchase directly from them. Their website is

This photo is of a necklace and earrings set that I recently created using the paper beads from this wonderful organization.