African Beads From Recycled Magazines
Resourceful Artisans Upcycling Old Magazines
Women in Uganda lead a challenging life. Some were widowed by conflicts in the north of the country. Many look after children as well. See how these artisans have upcycled old magazines and created beautiful products: paper beads. Not only is the sale of these beads helping the people of Uganda, it is also bringing much-needed money into the country.
How The Paper Beads Are Rolled From Magazine Strips
Triangular Pieces Of Magazines Are Used
The people at Mzuri Beads have put together a pictorial 'how-to' of how their jewelers roll the paper beads from triangular strips of magazines. The strips are rolled around a needle and glued in place. Upon completion, they are coated with varnish and hung to dry.
Recycled Paper Beads For Sale on eBay
Look for Ugandan upcycled paper bead jewelry on eBay.
Buutiti Women Beaders
"These resourceful and proud Ugandan women live in the Acholi Quarter slums of Kampala. Using recycled paper to make beautiful bead necklaces and bracelets, they are trying to work their way out of poverty."
"At 27, Margaret was widowed when her husband was killed in the war in Northern Uganda. She and her children were left destitute. Providing even a meal for her children was difficult. When BeadforLife met Margaret she lived in an abandoned house that was falling down. Margaret became an industrious bead maker and her life began to change."
Handmade hats benefit Ugandan Children
Ugandan women fashion hats and baskets from banana fibers gotten from inside of banana leaves. These crafts are sold for only a dollar or two.
A unique student from Kampala, Uganda.
One of the authors on eHow, Sekitto Kisakye, has a very endearing and uniquely African collection of how-to articles. A year-long online correspondence with this Ugandan student brought information on how to cook traditional Ugandan foods such as Katogo. The friendship also resulted in an unexpected and amazing gift of hats, baskets, wallets and beautiful jewelry arriving on my doorstep at Christmas. Fascinated by these unusual gifts, I researched what material some of the beads in the necklaces and bracelets were made of. The story behind the beads is just as beautiful as the beads themselves. Have a look at what I discovered about the women of Uganda and how they've taken recycled magazines and created something extraordinary.
In March 2009, my husband and I sent funds to Sekitto to purchase beaded jewelry with. He chose to purchase this from some widows in the Muyenga slum of Kampala. The jewelers had their daughters with them: the girls had been sent home from school due to a lack of fees. We purchased the jewelry in bulk and will shortly be selling it online, with profits going back to Uganda. The jewelers daughters additionally expressed an interest in a pen pal program currently being established for Ugandan children. One bead at a time we can give these jewelers and their families hope!
Are you as surprised as I was to discover such unique products being sold for so little money? Please let me know your thoughts on how these people of Uganda are putting every resource available to such creative and beautiful use!
Contact Laura Schofield
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