At first glance, the beads on this vibrant and sophisticated necklace appear to be ceramic. But they're actually handcrafted from recycled paper by women artisans in Northern Uganda. The paper is sourced at a local market from calendars, cereal boxes, magazines, and posters. The beads are hand-rolled from long strips of paper, painted with indigienous designs, sealed with an eco-friendly glaze and hung to dry in the warm Ugandan sun. Each 20" long necklace is handpainted and truly unique.
This beautiful and unique jewelry comes from Bead for Life, a non-profit organization devoted to improving the lives of women in northern Uganda. The artisans are impoverished, hardworking and intelligent women with a strong desire to improve their lives. They live in Kampala and Iganga and make beautiful handcrafted paper beads from recycled paper and turn them into necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
The goal of Bead for Life is for its artisans to be independent of Bead for Life within 18 months by being able to support themselves within the Ugandan economy. To assist members in launching their own small businesses or in creating new revenue streams, they provide entrepreneurial training, facilitate savings accounts, and make business funds available.
The women generate a regular income of about $280 a month, equivalent to a teacher's salary in Uganda. Over 1,000 women have gone through or are currently enrolled in the bead rolling project. Each woman supports an average of 8 people.
Bead for Life sponsors community development projects in health, vocational training for impoverished youth, affordable housing, and business development. These projects are financed with the net profits from the sale of the beads.
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