Turning Trash to Cash – Part II

March 29, 2017 • Stories from Uganda

Learn how bead makers and product creators gain a better livelihood through the practice of creating African bead-based merchandise in our blog.

Making African beads from discarded paper products and using them to create desired merchandise has helped to improve the financial wellbeing of bead makers and merchandise creators alike. The bead makers and merchandise creators are often women who have little or no marketable skills. This work offers them a way forward.

In addition to offering the dignity of work, the opportunity to work as part of a team and use their creativity are other benefits realized by the workers. Creators can carn a living, which can help them support themselves and their families.

Beads and bead products were first made and sold to local markets and tourists. Many nonprofit organizations have helped bead makers establish markets outside their immediate communities, especially in Europe and the United States. This helped create a larger market for beads and bead products. The Ladies of Mirembe (Peace) Beads in Kampala, for example, are one supplier of bead and bead products for the St. Kizito Foundation’s fundraising efforts.

There are always African bead products available for purchase at St. Kizito Foundation events. Some purchasers of the beads have shared that they use the beads to remember and pray for the African students and workers who serve the St. Kizito Foundation. So, the next time you are at a St. Kizito Foundation event – please take a few minutes and browse the selection of African bead products. Take time to appreciate the considerable work that went into procuring the raw materials (discarded paper products), the tedious labor to make the beads, and the wonderful creativity used to create the end products.

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