Shea Nut Program
Look Good, Do Good, Feel Good ®
BeadforLife started working in Northern Uganda in 2008, just months after Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army had been driven out and the refugees started returning. All of the people we work with had been driven from their homes and forced to live in camps for displaced people, dependent on the army for protection and aid agencies for a meager survival.
Most of the women had experienced horrible atrocities. Some had homes burned to the ground by the rebels. Many saw family members killed in front of their eyes. And some were themselves abducted and forced to become child soldiers or sex slaves to the commanders.
Despite their hardships, these are hardworking people who are trying to rebuild their lives. BeadforLife has partnered with over 760 women to create a market for the Shea nuts which they have gathered for generations. Shea nuts are known in the region as “Women’s Gold” because they are a resource traditionally gathered and sold by women.
BeadforLife buys the nuts during the harvest season, providing women with critical cash income which they use to pay for their children’s school fees, buy medicine or invest in their farms. With our focus on long-term sustainability, BeadforLife has also started an agricultural program called the Ox Plow Initiative. This helps small groups of women gain access to plows and oxen, improved organic seeds and training so they can grow more food.
We continue to work directly with the community to identify their most critical needs and determine how BeadforLife can help address them. We do this while not providing direct handouts which undermine these people’s potential for self-sufficiency. The initiatives we have implemented include access to mosquito nets, deworming tablets for children, rubber boots to prevent snakebites, nutritional supplements for small children, support for HIV+ children, and empowerment training for female youth.
BeadforLife processes the Shea nuts into exquisite and rare Shea Nilotica, which we use to make our Shea product line including Shea Sugar Scrub, Peppermint Lip Balm, African Lemongrass & Lavender Soap and Shea Body Crème. We also offer bulk raw Shea Nilotica to cosmetic companies looking for a superior Shea butter that helps impoverished women. Learn about the unique qualities of BeadforLife Ugandan Shea Nilotica.