Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Give the Gift of Hope by Sharing BeadforLife

Recently, I got to know about a wonderful program called BeadforLife that has grown over the years through women connecting around the world. When we share this story of BeadforLife, or a piece of their unique jewelry or Shea product, it opens a new world of possibilities for women in Uganda who are trying to lift their families out of extreme poverty. The World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on $1.25 or less a day. 
The story of BeadforLife began... when the co-founders Torkin Wakfield, Ginny Jordan, and Devin Hibbard met Millie Grace Akena while they were walking through a crowded Ugandan slum. They noticed Millie sitting on the ground outside her mud home rolling small strips of paper into vibrant beads in the hot sun, so they stopped to look. Millie expressed her love for rolling beads out of recycled paper and showed the unique handcrafted necklaces, which she had no way to sell or market.

Millie was originally from Northern Uganda who fled to the Kampala slum to protect her children from becoming child soldiers. When they met her, she was barely surviving on less than a dollar a day by working in a rock quarry crushing stones into pebbles with a hand mallet to earn enough income for just one meal a day. Her children had to often work alongside her. The co-fouders admired Millie's talent and purchased a few necklaces and wore them around Kampala in support. Other people began to notice the distinct jewelry and asked where they had been purchased. This encouraged the co-founders to return to Millie’s slum and meet a hundred more women who knew how to create paper beads. 
click to make the image big
In 2004, BeadforLife was formed providing opportunities for a few dozen women from Millie’s slum and now it provides opportunities for thousands of women. These jewelry and products between $5 to $28 would be wonderful to give as gifts to our mothers, those special to us or even purchase for ourselves, as it will change many lives for good. 
They have wonderful items such as Hand tailored apron created by Uganda “Arise” tailor group. In one of the apron pockets there is a special vanilla bean and another pocket has a recipe card donated by Rodelle. A bead party box and a sale of their beads brings 2 weeks earnings for 40 women in Uganda, and business grants for 20 women to build sustainable ventures for their future. It also provides other benefits such as 5 oxen and plows in Shea nut region of Northern Uganda that reaches 25 families to expand their farms, and 1 year boarding school fees of 14 girls in Uganda. 
We can host a bead party and share the message, stories and the BeadforLife products with our friends and family. When hosting the BeadforLife party, you can make wonderful snacks from Uganda like these delicious sugar coated peanuts. This recipe is adapted from the recipe, which was in the Bead party resources.
For these sugar coated peanuts you will need
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar (can make it 3/4 cup)
2 cups peanuts without the shell

In a saucepan combine sugar and the water and bring to boil, while stirring to make sure the sugar is dissolved and makes clear syrup. Add the shelled peanuts with or without the skins and coat with the syrup. 
Pour the coated peanuts into a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. Gently stir the peanuts a few times while they are baking and remove it has soon as they are lightly browned and the syrup is almost dried, as it will easily burn. 
Place the peanuts on a wax paper and allow the nuts to dry before serving and storing in an airtight container. 

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58 comments:

  1. This is such a wonderful initiative .Hope for evrybody .Peanuts look yummy too

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  2. Wow, how amazing, thats wonderful!

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  3. thanks for the recipe and post very interesting

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  4. This is a incredible idea, would be great to give as gifts... the gift that keeps giving back :)

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  5. what a great idea, and the peanuts look pretty good too! yum

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  6. I love the beads and the creativity of women with almost no hope to survive and how they do what they can to provide for their children.

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  7. I love that this charity helps to imposer the women and mentor them too!

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  8. Beautiful and inspiring! I love the message!

    RAFFLECOPTER NAME is Anne Taylor

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  9. inspiring for sure,offers so much hope

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  10. That bag is lovely! How did you hear about this program? Is there a website?

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    1. Hi Victoria the site is http://www.beadforlife.org

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    2. Thanks!

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  11. What an inspiring story, bringing families out of poverty and giving pride in a job well done

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  12. awesome, thanks for sharing! and I am going to make those peanuts they look yummy

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  13. I love this! I am all for empowering women and supporting them to help them survive. Their creations are simply stunning. I wouldn't mind owning a piece or two of theirs!

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  14. Wonderful idea - shared article on various social media

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  15. I liked your Give the Gift of Hope by Sharing BeadforLife post.
    This is a great program and the jewelry is nice.

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  16. Great post, I learned something new today. A great program! Thanks for the recipe! (Judy Cowan)

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    1. Glad to hear Judy I hope you try it is an easy recipe

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  17. I love the beads! I've never coated peanuts before, I will have to try the recipe. Thanks!

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  18. Great organization. You can order online from the BeadforLife store jewelry, shea products and bags or you can request online to host a Bead Party. Very helpful staff in Boulder CO. We have hosted Bead Parties and help young people do their own Bead Parties, We are available to support any in Canada who are interested. Contact maryjo.dawe.bfl@gmail.com

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    1. better yet, contact us at maryjo.dawe@gmail.com
      This experience of sharing the story and selling for Bead For Life has been so enriching. The gifts are beautiful, but give life-supporting income half a world away....and it is ALL made, assembled in a woman's home.

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    2. Better to contact me with current email: maryjo.dawe@gmail.com

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  19. BeadforLife has a special girls' education fund, $26 for a girls Education Bracelet with $20 going to the scholarship fund to support girls to go high school in areas where there are no high schools. They are now funding 120 girls on scholarships to boarding schools in Uganda. See in the online store to purchase and donate.

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  20. This is an amazing way to help those, especially underprivileged women in developing countries to overcome poverty. I recently saw on dragons den a young man from Uganda (attending school in university in Toronto), who had wooden frames for glasses and sunglasses made in Uganda to support the lives over there.Amazing ideas people have these days!

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  21. What an important cause. Thanks for spreading awareness of it.

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  22. that is very interesting,,great!
    (Karla Sceviour)

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  23. The strength of a woman with the foresight to get her family out of poverty, BRAVO!

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  24. interesting story beads for life sound like a great program

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  25. I never realized you could make beads this way. They look very nice and its great that this business is helping women and their families in Uganda. The peanuts look very tasty too.

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  26. shared again on social media - entered from another giveaway

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  27. Nice beads work, looks amazing!

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  28. I wouldn't know by looking at them that these beads are made from recycled paper, they're very pretty too. And what a great organization!

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  29. interesting story beads for life sound like a great program

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  30. Nice beads work, looks amazing!

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  31. What a wonderful story. I just checked out their online store. Love the Shea Butter products!!

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  32. I love jewelry that looks attractive, makes a statement and supports good work.
    (Debbie W)

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  33. such an awesome program; it is amazing how many get help

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  34. Love the beads. Great program and the peanut recipes sounds delicious.
    Florence C

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  35. What a great program. Very unique. Thanks for the recipe.

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  36. This is wonderful, and what pretty bracelets! Bookmarking now and Pinning! Thanks for sharing!

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  37. I believe programs like this are so important as it gives so much to the women that live in what I myself can not even imagine.

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  38. Bailey Dexter What a great opportunities for these women! Great program.

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  39. Awesome program! And yummy recipe too. Thanks for the post.

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  40. A great initiative. I have also participated in a similar program. We sell paper bead necklaces and then we send the proceeds directly to an orphanage for babies in Jinja, Uganda. Such a worthy cause. Thanks for sharing.

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  41. A great program. Thanks for letting us know about it.
    Cheers.

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  42. What a great program. Very unique.

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  43. What a great program! Good for you!! :)

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  44. What a wonderful program - I really love ideas like that that give back to communities that truly need the help!

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  45. great story and the beads look nice too
    jan

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  46. Such an inspirational post, absolutely love this program thank you for sharing.

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Thank you for commenting :)

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