The Common Good
April 2007

Beauty, Bracelets and Brainpower

by Rose Marie Berger, Jonathan Mendez | April 2007

BeadforLife has helped roll hundreds of Ugandan families out of poverty by training HIV-positive women and refugees in the art of bead rolling.

BeadforLife has helped roll hundreds of Ugandan families out of poverty by training HIV-positive women and refugees in the art of bead rolling. They also help connect Ugandan bead rollers with buyers around the world. Not only do women generate income, but the project's expansion also has helped pay school fees for 60 children, given 90 beaders training to help them start other businesses—such as vegetable stands—and funded the testing and treatment of malaria.

For every $10 spent on one BeadforLife product, according to the organization's Web site, $4.30 is reinvested into community development projects that focus on health care, life skills training, vocational training, and affordable housing. "Many churches featured BeadforLife this past holiday season as a way to give a gift that also helped someone in Uganda," co-founder Devin Hibbard told Sojourners. Beaders now make an average of $850 a year in a country where, according to the International Monetary Fund, the average per capita income is $300 per year.

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