Rosemary and AfriBeads 2019 Newsletter
Posted by Linda Edwards on
Thank you to our AfriBeads supporters for believing in us and enabling us to grow and empower so many people in Uganda!
It is 10 years since AfriBeads was born!! It started from a simple idea - to create jobs in Uganda for people living in poverty by providing a market for their hand-made wares in Australia. We now have 20 AfriBeads Mothers and over 30 basket weavers and other specialised artisans earning a regular income by supplying their unique traditional African craft to Australia every month. The group now also has customers in the U.S.
Most of the children in our group are able to regularly attend school unlike most Ugandan children. Over the 10 years we have seen children grow up, complete their schooling and now working - Aaron works in video production, Hafswa’ s daughter in printing, Margaret works in Dubai airport. Women have left the project and started their own businesses, including Josephine starting a video shop, Jane brick making and Susan sewing alterations.
Volunteers have visited from Australia and have taught sewing, candle making, card making and worked with the project on new product ranges including platters and baskets, cushion covers and tablecloths, woven palm leaf purses and shopping bags, and new styles of jewellery. We have worked with the group to develop new systems and improve their skills in financial management and retail. With the support of Rotary we have rented and furnished a shop in Makindye for the group to have the opportunity to sell their own products in Uganda to expats, tourists and aid workers.
It's been a crazy ride but we are so excited for the next ten years. Coming up next is another group visiting Uganda and training the women in soap making to sell at local hotels and guest houses in Uganda. With the support of Rotary we are applying for endorsement through the World Fair Trade Organisation to create the opportunity for other overseas customers. We are also working on a new fashion range.
Thank you to you, our amazing supporters for believing in us and enabling us to grow and empower so many people. We are forever grateful for your ongoing support.