Women’s Center Reaches Out With Jewelry Sale to Help Ugandan Women

Dec. 6, 2011


FLORENCE, Ala. – Workers and students at the Center for Women’s Studies at the University of North Alabama will help eradicate poverty one bead at a time during the “Bead for Life” sale Dec. 5-9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as they sell Ugandan jewelry and send proceeds from sales to the struggling women of Africa.

Emily Horn Kelley, coordinator of the Center for Women’s Studies, said they will be selling handmade jewelry and Shea butter peppermint lip balm and soap produced by women in Uganda. The jewelry is composed of beads that are made from old newspapers and magazines. Kelley said the Ugandan women cut the old papers into long triangles and roll them into beautiful beads of all shapes, sizes and colors.

The final step of the bead-making process includes allowing the beads to dry in the sun, and then using them to create necklaces and bracelets that range from $5 to $25 at the Women’s Center. To make the Shea butter lip balm and soap, the women of Uganda gather Shea nuts and press them to make soaps and cosmetics.

“Doing this touches my heart, and makes me feel so good,” Kelley said. “Especially during this season when we’re all looking at gifts to buy, this is literally a gift that continues to give. It’s helping people pull themselves out of extreme poverty. If you take a look at the old line ‘If you can save one person, you can save the world’ – I have that feeling every time I buy one piece of this jewelry in that I am literally reaching out to people and helping to lift the world out of poverty.”

Last year, workers sold approximately $3,000 worth in the jewelry on campus in less than a week. Kelley said 4.7 percent of sales are used for administration and fundraising, but the remaining 95.3 percent goes back to Ugandan women, communities and programs in those areas.

BeadforLife is a nonprofit organization that is part of the international grassroots movement to put an end to extreme poverty across the world, according to the group’s website. The organization came together in September of 2004 and has trained 883 women to make beads and earn income.

“It’s important to me and to all of us at the Women’s Center that we raise as much money as possible to send back to Uganda,” Kelley said.

For more information, contact Emily Horn Kelley at the Center for Women’s Studies at 256-765-4380 or e-mail ekelley1@una.edu.