Saturday, March 13, 2010

Meet the beaders in Uganda

Mzuri Paper Beaders in Uganda

Today, I want to tell you a bit about the paper beaders in Uganda. Mildred, Edith, Gertrude and Harriet were the intial four women we started working with. Bellow is a picture of my brother Angus and I with them back in 2006. We are sitting in what we was the first Mzuribeads office. It was an open space offered by a friend. It had no roof, and rubble for walls and flooring. It was more on the lines of 'historic ruins' than a ' office space', but it was filled with our intial enthusiasm and ambitions.

Mzuribeads founders, (from left to right), Gertude Naiga, Harriet Yiga, Kirstie MacLean, Angus MacLean, Edith Namanda, Mildred Kibahigire.
Established 2006

We then started to train the friends and neighbours in Ndejje, the village these women lived in. Bellow are a few of the other Mzuribeads members.


Harriet gave birth to her third child whilst I was working in Uganda with the women in 2008. I was happy that Mzuribeads could financial assist her hospital fees, and that her baby was born safely, and is now seen modelling Mzuribeads (:Lydia
Although very shy, I think Lidia is one of the most beautiful young women I've met. She is Edith's second eldest daughter, and is seen here modelling a necklace.

Daily Life
Cooking and Washing are the usual daily chores, that take up most hours of the day around beading. Above is Ediths home, where we hold meetings and spend hours chatting, translating, and trying out new techniques, materials and crafts.

Meetings and Accounts
Meetings and accounts are often long winded, and challenging. But, we are particular about the system in which we work, and ensure that we spend as much time as possible voting, discussing and achieving positive results.
Watch a snippet from one of our meetings bellow

Chicken Farming
With Edith's savings she has started to take farm chickens. They usually are found wondering around the land around her house, and are later sold or used to farm the next generation. It is a long term investment for many of the women.

Written by Kirstie MacLean
Mzuribeads Director

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