From heartache to health and happiness? That’s exactly what Kwagala Jewelry hopes to bring to hundreds of women in Uganda, all survivors of human trafficking and the commercial sex trade.
As part of its Kwagala Project, the jewelry company, hires and teaches the women about bead-making an indigenous craft to Uganda. “A lot of them have been in trafficking since they were young,” Kristen Hendricks, executive director, recently told Huffington Post.
“They never had the chance to develop real, marketable skills. The jewelry not only gives them an income, but also sends money back into the Kwagala Project to support the organization’s other efforts.”
The goal is to help the women and girls become economically self-sufficient. “Traditional symbols of strength and courage, beads are the perfect way for these women to pave their way to self-reliance,” the company says.
The women actually make the beads themselves and then string them. Each of the colors reflects a positive message: Tranquil Blue, Graceful Pink, Classic Black, Lively Lime Green, and Regal Purple. (The bracelet seen here is in Regal Purple).
While the beads will eventually find their way from Uganda to necklaces, arms and ears around the world, they will be carrying another message, too.
“They often spark conversations about the beads and the women who made them,” Hendricks notes.
Talk about your “power beads”…