Bead making is at the heart of what we do; it is how we began. Rolling beads provides our members with a steady source of income throughout the 18 months they are in our program. We enroll 3-4 bead making groups per year, and each group contains between 40-60 members. We welcome each new group into our program with singing, dancing and a heartfelt ceremony where members collectively decide their group name.
Each beginning group receives three months of extensive training in how to roll beads out of recycled paper and string them into beautiful jewelry. More importantly, they receive ongoing entrepreneurial and business skills training to prepare them to launch their own sustainable business once they graduate.
Each bead sale begins with singing, drumming and dancing. After our members are welcomed, they meet with our inventory team who inspects and purchases their jewelry. Money earned from each sale is distributed to every member in the following ways: cash in hand, business fund, and personal savings account. Money from the business fund goes towards starting a business, while money in the personal savings account is used for day-to-day expenses. While at our office on bead sale days, our members also attend health trainings, receive information about upcoming trainings, or feedback on their bead making.
BeadforLife is now making payments to some of our members more secure by using Mobile Money. By paying our members with a mobile payment rather than cash, we've reduced fraud and theft within our program.
Members increase their income by 7 to 10 times while enrolled in our program. Earning a regular income creates an immediate impact in the lives of our members. They are able to eat more nutritious foods, receive proper heath care, enroll their children in school and to improve their living situations. By also helping our members save their earning and invest in starting a business we ensure that they will continue to make enough income to support their families. Common types of businesses that members open are poultry rearing, restaurants, retail stores, vegetable stands, tailoring and renting rooms.
25 Groups & Counting!
BeadforLife currently has 3 groups enrolled: Arise, Birimumaaso, and Kwagala.