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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 purchased these nuts during the harvest season, providing women with critical cash income which they used to pay for their children’s school fees, buy medicine or invest in their farms. With our focus on long-term sustainability, BeadforLife also started an agricultural program called the Ox Plow Initiative. This helped small groups of women gain access to plows and oxen, improved organic seeds and training so they could grow more food.
BeadforLife processed 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, Shea Butter Soap and Shea Body Crème. Learn about the unique qualities of BeadforLife Ugandan Shea Nilotica.