The Transformation of Torkin Wakefield

One of the lives that has been transformed through BeadforLife is my own. In 2004 when I moved to Uganda I knew very little about extreme poverty, about the challenges that the poor face, about the struggles of women to survive and care for their children. I knew even less about how to assist a poorly educated woman become an entrepreneur and find sustainable business opportunities. Together with my daughter, Devin, and my close friend Ginny Jordan I set out to find meaningful opportunities to relieve suffering. Where this intention would take us we did not know. We only knew that we could try to find an opportunity to make a difference….and that was the beginning of a journey that has now impacted 40,000 people!

I have had to learn so many things I did not know; about entrepreneurship, about the cultures of the women in Uganda, about what small scale businesses are most sustainable, about how to sell beads through many sales channels, about how to garner press coverage, about how to deal with misogyny I have learned that people of good heart around the world will respond to the human story of suffering and that generosity awaits an invitation.

This work has given meaning to my life that was missing. It has given me countless intimate experiences with hopeful hardworking people slowly transforming their own lives. And it has taught me the power of intention. I live in gratitude now and truly know the meaning of work that matters.

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