Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Project!

Hello friends,

I am starting a project called "Summer of Love for Uganda" before I begin graduate school. I am very excited about it and hope you will all help me make it successful!

This year for Mother's Day my mom came to visit me in LA. We went to the local bead store for goodies to make jewelry as we do every time she comes to visit. I saw these colorful beads from Uganda that I had never seen or heard about before. I picked out several other beads and made a cute bracelet. Back at home I did a quick internet search and found out about these amazing women who use recycled magazine and calendar pages to make the beads. The trip to get the right kind of paper  could take 2.5 hours to get to Kampala, the capital city. They cut the strips of paper and roll them into the shape of the bead, varnish them a three times and let them dry; pretty amazing!

Outreach Uganda is an amazing non-profit with 3 beader groups: the Jinja group is in a small city, the Kitgum group is in a town, and the third Agwata group is in a small village, all located in Northern Uganda. They help the support the women in vocational training, business start up grants, and marketing the paper beads. Through the sale of the beads they are able to send their children to school and create a sustainable and steady income for their families and overcome poverty.

The Kitgum beaders live in the very northern part of Uganda

As an anthropology student I am continually hearing stories about people who have been affected by war, poverty, or an oppressive government (in many cases, all three). Instead of just learning about them, I wanted to do something but was unsure of what. So there I was looking at the bracelet I had just made, thinking these beads are handmade by women who are working hard to bring themselves out of poverty and I wanted to do something to help.

If you know me, you know I enjoy making jewelry. Working and going to school full time hasn't allowed for much free time lately. Summer is just around the corner and I will have 3 months off before I start my masters program at USC in Visual Anthropology (making ethnographic/documentary films). One of my research interests are women creating handicrafts as a source of income and I am hoping that I could continue this research in a larger project.

Beautiful paper beads from Outreach Uganda

Each bracelet I make is unique and handmade 

I want to help these women with a significant financial contribution and raise awareness about what they are doing and share the beauty of their handicrafts with you. I am going to make and sell as many bracelets at $20 each this summer and then make a donation to Outreach Uganda in all of our names!

50% of the profits will go to Outreach Uganda! Each one will be unique, handmade, and multicolored with different accent beads made of wood, glass, and metal and will feature the beautiful Ugandan bead(s) incorporated in them. I am buying the beads directly from Outreach Uganda. Some will be on brown cord and others on gold tone chain. I am buying the beads directly from the organization. Pictured are the different kinds of bracelets I am making for the project, you will receive one similar. Unfortunately I am unable to take orders for exact colors but if you let me know if you like colors in cool or warm tones I will try my best to accomodate you :)

I have no doubt that you think this is a worthy cause and that these Ugandan women deserve a home, a stable income, and an education for their children. I am asking that you not just buy a bracelet, but that you help me sell them! This way we can really contribute something worthwhile like sponsoring a child/children to attend school for one year ($250-325). I am asking that you encourage your friends and family to purchase these bracelets for themselves and others to raise awareness about these women and what this organization is doing to help them.  Please ask your employers if you have a gift matching program as well, and we can double our efforts! 

Rose Mary Alimo (age 13 - Jinja)

Please email me if you will help me in taking orders from your friends, family, co-workers, book clubs, teachers, etc. Etsy and Paypal all take their cut on transactions which really add up, so cash or checks would be the preferred method of payment although I will take credit cards for large orders only.

1. email me at with your order of how many
2. I will reply with my home address and shipping costs, (usually around $2)
3. You mail me a check as a form of payment (please DO NOT send cash)
4. I ship out your bracelet(s) a few days later!

Subscribe to my blog as I will be updating it this summer to let you all know how the project is going and how much money we are raising!

Check out Outreach Uganda to learn about all the programs they are implementing to strengthen this community and empower these women!



  1. I think what you are doing sis is something to be very proud of! Many of us see the need but aren't able to "do" something about it. It takes a certain type of person to make things happen and I am so very proud of you sis! I'm going to help in any way that I can and I know this project will have a bountiful return!

    1. Hey Sisterfriend-

      Thank you for the kind words I know its hard with time constraints and just life gets in the way. I think this project is something people can really get involved in if they want to. YOU are someone who "does" as well, love you lots!!!

  2. Hi Lady!
    Wanted to send big kudos your way for spotlighting a cause that is close to you as well as using your talents for the benefits of others. You inspired me! Thank you! I'm now sponsoring Rose Marie Alimo (the girl featured on your page).
    Can't wait to wear your socially conscious baubles around my wrist too!

    1. Hey Andrea you are so amazing thank you so much for caring and contributing to Outreach Uganda AND Rose Marie Alimo--this is why I love you!!

  3. This is a beautiful concept Nicole. What a creative way to provide a service to the underprivileged and marginalized community.