Have questions? We have answers.

Most Frequent Questions

What is unique about BeadforLife?
Can I donate paper, glass beads other beads to the women?
What is a BeadforLife Marketplace?
What is extreme poverty?
How can I get involved?
How can I learn more about Uganda?

Donations

Can I make a donation?
I live outside of the USA. Can I still make a donation?
Is my donation tax deductible?
Can I make a donation in someone’s honor?

Our Model & Programs

What's is BeadforLife's Model?
How much money do the women make?
Why focus on women?
Do you provide reproductive health services?
How many women has BeadforLife served? What is the success rate?
How much money goes back to programs?
Do you plan on expanding to other countries? Why Uganda?
How does BeadforLife work in the US?
How can I learn how to start a program like BeadforLife?
Does BeadforLife partner with other organizations and corporations?

Fair Trade

How does BeadforLife support Fair Trade?

About Our Products

What are the BeadforLife beads made of?
Is your sealant environmentally friendly?
Do you have other questions about our products or placing an order?
Where are the shea products made?
How long does a necklace take to make?
Where can I purchase beads in a store?


Most Frequent Questions

What’s unique about BeadforLife?

  • We are the founder of the recycled paper bead industry in Uganda. We began in 2004 and are proud to have launched this cottage industry. What makes us unique is how we do our work; our model is one of women’s empowerment and sustainability. We are a nonprofit organization, which means that 100% of our net assets are reinvested into our poverty programs, and a member of the Fair Trade Federation and a provisional member of the World Fair Trade Organization. To be sure that you’ve purchased an authentic BeadforLife product, look for our signature BeadforLife tag. [back to top]

Can I donate paper, glass beads, other beads to the women?

  • No. We do not accept donations of paper and jewelry supplies because we are committed to reinvesting in the local Ugandan economy. Because our members buy paper and glass seed beads in the local markets, a large paper and jewelry supply industry has now developed. [back to top

What is a BeadforLife Marketplace?

  • A BeadforLife Marketplace is a fun, meaningful way to make an impact in the fight against extreme poverty. We send you materials—including inventory, helpful hints and more—and you set up your Marketplace at your home, school, office, church or online! In addition to selling beaded jewelry and other beautiful products, you share our story with your guests. When you send us the proceeds, we use them in our work in Uganda. No upfront purchase is required, and we cover shipping. It's a great way to change lives here and in Uganda. Learn more. [back to top]

What is extreme poverty?

  • Extreme poverty is the most severe state of poverty, meaning many cannot meet basic needs for food, water, shelter, sanitation, and health care.The World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on $1.25 or less a day. Nearly one out of every four people on the planet lives in extreme poverty; 50% of whom live in Africa. We are committed to working with women living in extreme poverty in order to make the greatest impact to those who are most in need. [back to top]

How can I get involved?

How can I learn more about Uganda? 

Donations

Can I make a donation?

  • Absolutely! BeadforLife welcomes you to join our BeadCircle through the gift of donating. You can contribute toward or in general. Donations can be made via check, cash, credit card, wire transfer or stock.  You can also set up a recurring monthly donation. Learn more! [back to top]

I do not live in the United States. Can I still make a donation?

  • Yes! We prefer that contributions be made in U.S. dollars; however, we do accept foreign currency as well as the following credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.  When using your credit card, the billing company will convert your transaction based on current exchange rates. [back to top]

Is my donation tax deductible?

  • Yes. BeadforLife is a nonprofit organization and is exempt from federal income taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your financial contributions to BeadforLife are tax-deductible under U.S. tax regulations. All electronic donations receive an automatic tax receipt. In an effort to be environmentally conscious, we provide mailed tax receipts for cash or check gifts of $10 or more or by request. Our tax identification number is 20-1683139. [back to top]

Can I make a donation in someone’s honor?

  • Yes! Celebrate someone special in your life by giving a gift to BeadforLife. We offer downloadable cards to let your family and friends know about the special gift given in their name. [back to top]

Our Model & Programs

What is BeadforLife's Model?

How much money do the women make?

  • Generally, women make 5-7 times more than they were earning before they joined BeadforLife.  They make more than the average school teacher or policeman in Uganda.  On a monthly basis, a woman can sell a maximum of about $195 USD worth of beads, but her actual income depends on the quality of the beads she brings to be sold. [back to top]

Why focus on women? 

  • Studies show that investing in women is the most effective way to eradicate poverty. A woman multiplies the impact of an investment made in her future by extending benefits to the world around her, creating a better life for her family & building a strong community. [back to top]

Do you provide reproductive health services?

  • Uganda has the third highest birth rate in the world, and women generally have an average of eight children. BeadforLife has a health program which provides education and access to a variety of services including reproductive healthcare.  Women who choose to access these services meet privately with a health professional to talk about their needs and what is right for their family.  [back to top]

How many women has BeadforLife served? How many women are currently being served? What is the member success rate?

How much money goes back to programs?

Do you plan on expanding to other countries?  Why Uganda?

  • We started in Uganda and will continue to focus our efforts there for the foreseeable future; we feel there are still many underserved, impoverished people in need of help. [back to top]

How does BeadforLife work in the US?

How can I learn how to start a program like BeadforLife?

  • Currently, we don’t have the capacity to provide a market for other groups making beads or any other products. However, we applaud the efforts of others trying to eradicate poverty throughout the world. We encourage you to  explore the Fair Trade Federation resources' as well as GuideStars.org for reviews on nonprofit models. [back to top]

Does BeadforLife partner with other organizations and corporations?

Fair Trade

How does BeadforLife support Fair Trade?

  • BeadforLife is committed to Fair Trade Principles and a member of the Fair Trade Federation and the World Fair Trade Organization.  Learn more! [back to top]

About Our Products

What are the BeadforLife beads made of?

  • Each bead is completely unique and handmade from locally sourced recycled paper. Our members prefer to use brightly colored paper from pamphlets, old calendars, posters, etc., which determines the vibrant hues of the beads. [back to top]

Is your sealant environmentally friendly?

  • All paper beads have been treated with our eco-friendly, odorless acrylic-based sealant.  Our sealant is locally produced in Uganda to protect the paper and give our beads a finished look. [back to top]

Do you have other questions about our products or placing an order?

Where are the shea products made?

  • All of our shea products are made with 100% natural East African Shea Butter from Northern Uganda. Our BeadforLife Shea Soap is handmade in Kampala, Uganda. All additional shea products are formulated using our shea butter and produced in the United States. [back to top]

How long does a necklace take to make?

  • A BeadforLife member can typically make 60 long necklaces in two weeks. During the first five days, the beads for all 60 necklaces are cut, rolled, and glued. They are then coated with 3-5 layers of eco-friendly sealant and hung in the sunshine to dry. The final step is to assemble the beads into necklaces using glass seed beads and a clasp. [back to top]

Where can I purchase beads?