Posts Tagged ‘ugandan street kids’

I had the pleasure of meeting Abby Tracy a couple of months ago. This young twenty-somthings girl with a heart literally the size of Africa, FOR Africa, really inspired me. She has given her life, her heart and her time to the abandoned kids on the streets of Kampala, Uganda. Kids that are hated, ignored, harassed and abused. The beads used in the following pictures are made by Ugandans trying to support themselves so they don’t have to stay on the streets. What Abby (and others partnering with her) has been able to do with the proceeds of this jewelry is just amazing. Abby explained it here:

The beads are made from rolled up pieces of magazines by local artists in downtown Kampala. The carved pieces are made out of wood or the enormous horns of the Ugandan cattle. To make the paper beads you cut a tapered piece of paper and then roll it around a needle, dab a but of paint to hold the end down and then string it on fishing wire. Once there is a sizable amount you paint the beads with a clear shalack and then string them together! The money from the necklaces alone was enough to purchase a plot of land, build a family home on it, and take 16 kids off of the street. The home is run through the sale of the necklaces although it is our goal in the next year to start up many income generating activities. We have just purchased a large plot of land again through the sale of the necklaces and have many things we are planning to use it for like planting crops, raising cattle, and having fishpons where we raise and harvest fish! We are currently in the middle of starting a new program with older street youth 18 and older that have shown initiative and a desire to change their lives around through Calvary Church’s street children program to put them in a program where they make the necklaces and the money that they earn from them goes to getting them off the street, in transitional housing and then off of the streets for good by letting them choose from job training, a paid apprentiship, help starting up their own business or store, or help going back to their village and farming.

Abby is currently in Arizona raising support to be able to return to Uganda fulltime. She works with a Ugandan organization called Africa Hearts. She sells the jewelry around the USA via friends and family who have connected with her vision and passion. Currently, she is working on getting a website up and running to be able to sell the jewelry to a broader audience. The proceeds of these necklaces, bracelets and earrings are truly giving desperate Ugandans hope and freedom from life on the streets. I will certainly update this blog when the website is up and running.

Personally, I have bought several of these necklaces for friends and family and I wear one of two of them nearly everyday. And I ALWAYS get asked about them when I am out and about… I hope I have successfully piqued your interest and hope you will buy some of your own in the near future (when online purchases are possible). Who doesn’t like cool, unique, stylish jewelry, especially when you KNOW that this jewelry is in a small way providing freedom where there was bondage, hope where there was despair. 

Check out more of Abby’s story HERE











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