African beads used to make many beautiful items—necklaces, bracelets, earrings, purses, to name a few—can be made from different materials such as eggshells, ivory, bone, and other materials occurring in nature. Recently, however, discarded paper products such as flyers, posters, calendars, and magazines have been used to make beads. Objects termed “trash” are instead used to create beautiful beads, transforming them into beautiful products for sale. Essentially, this practice turns trash into cash.
Making beads is a labor-intensive project. First, creators collect waste paper materials from trash centers and offices. Then, they cut paper into triangular strips; the size of the strip depends on the size and shape of the desired bead. After, they form the bead by rolling the paper using small rods, starting with the back and ending with the triangular side. Finally, they seal it with glue.
The glue dries for a while. Lastly, after the glue dries, the beads are shellacked or covered with a varnish. The varnish protects the beads from water as well as creates a sheen. From there, the beads transform into many lovely items.
Creators then sell the beads, the proceeds of which improve the lives of many, particularly women—especially those with no formal education. Part II of this article will elaborate on the people who create the beads and items – and the impact this work has on their lives.
Support St. Kizito
For over 20 years, the St. Kizito Foundation has helped children in Uganda prosper with schooling and life skills because of our donors' generosity and ongoing support. There are many ways to be a part of the St. Kizito mission. Click below to explore upcoming events, donate, or sign up for our email newsletter.
St. Kizito hosts multiple events each year to support our students and engage with the community.
Support our scholars in Uganda by donating to our 2022 Annual Fund. $350 educates one student for an entire year.
Stay up-to-date on the latest St. Kizito Foundation news and help grow our audience by signing up for our newsletter.