Behind the 360 Collective: How beadmaking is saving Florence & her children

360 Collective: Products Made by Women to Lift them Out of Poverty

Florence is a widow with 3 children, living in Kaberamaido, Uganda. When a Ugandan woman's husband dies, so may her rights- including her rights to her land. Florence's land was taken by her deceased husband's family, leaving her with no option but to rent. In rural Uganda, those who rent are often among the poorest because the little income that is generated must go to rent before education or other necessities.

After her husband's death, Florence joined a community based organization supporting widows by training 36 widows how to make beads. However, the organization closed a few years ago, and Florence had to rely on farming. Drought and other challenges have plagued production, and Florence was unable to make enough money to feed, educate and medicate her children. In 2014, our non-profit partners at Point Community Church visited Florence and bought some of her beads  for the annual Christmas fair. This gave Florence a little boost.

In 2016, Jessie visited Kaberamaido and heard Florence's story. Thereafter, she gave Florence money in advance to buy materials for bead making for a bulk purchase. This intervention came at a critical moment as Florence had reached a point where she could no longer pay for her rent nor her childrens' tuition fees. The capital injection enabled Florence to hit the restart button. Her son even managed to sit for his primary examination through the support of these necklaces (as seen in this photo)

The necklaces on our site are made by Florence and other Ugandan women who face similar struggles. The proceeds from these necklaces will be reinvested back into these women by purchasing more necklaces from them. Each bead is individually handmade by spinning old paper and magazines into beautiful beads. Each necklace is a work of art and are a unique part to anyone's wardrobe.

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