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, sealed with an eco-friendly glaze and hung to dry in the warm Ugandan sun. This mid-length (approx. 23" long) necklace features chunky, disk shaped paper beads at the bottom which taper to smaller beads at the neckline. Pronouced "mah-daa-la", the word originates from the Luganda word, ladder. It is made to symbolize the ladder that these women have built to lift themselves out of poverty.
Uwera Chantal tells her story with BeadforLife - Non-profit organization changing lives in Uganda ()
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.
Love my new necklace!
Posted by Rebecca J. on 22nd Apr 2012
This is such a beautiful product. I bought it originally to go with a specific outfit. Now I wear it all the time. I got the Teal. It is such a rich color! I love it. Thank you!