On this International Day of Poverty, we stand in solidarity with the resilient women we serve, beadmakers and businesswomen, who are discovering their inner spark to lift their families from poverty. Profits from BeadforLife jewelry sales contribute to 1 million women coming out of poverty by 2027 through our sister organization Street Business School. Today’s theme resonates deeply with us as we are truly “coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights.” BeadforLife and Street Business School have always met women where they are at, coaching, mentoring and helping them to believe in themselves, unveiling that inner spark. These are women like Racheal Namwese.
“I am happy to afford two meals a day, for my family.”
Racheal is a 42-year old mother of five. Rachael and her husband moved to the slum of Kirombe on the shores of Lake Victoria in 2003. Two years later, her husband left their family for another woman, leaving Racheal hopeless and without the resources to meet daily needs. She could only afford one meal a day, and some of her children had to drop out of school, as they couldn’t afford the fees. Unable to find steady work, she identified a plot of land in the neighborhood and began growing vegetables determinedly as a source of income to support her family. Rachael and her sons also learned the art of making briquettes from composted cow dung, charcoal dust and water. This reduced their daily expenses and also conserved the environment through less tree cutting.
In March 2017, Racheal enrolled in Street Business School. The business training helped her realize that she could earn income through this briquette making. Through Street Business School, she had a new network and realized that not only were the other women facing similar challenges, they could become her customers and friends!
Today, Racheal provides two meals a day for her family, pays school fees for her two sons and saves 40,000 UGX ($10) per month. She does this through her briquettes business and also delivering vegetables one of Kampala’s busiest markets twice a week.
“I see a very big transformation in my life and I am determined to work hard for an even better future for me and my children,” she says.
Racheal’s new vision is to buy a sewing machine and turn her passion for tailoring into a reality. She can’t wait to move her family to a much better home in the next few months!