quarta-feira, fevereiro 08, 2006

I'm involved



"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. And overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom." - Nelson Mandela

"Hello Friend in the BeadforLife Circle,

The New Year is fresh upon us, which is a good time to pause and reflect. 2005 was BeadforLife's first full year of work and what a year it was. A circle of sisterhood has been created that reaches around the world. We have a vibrant heart and hand connection at the grassroots between North American women and creative impoverished Ugandan women.

I wish you could all spend some days in Uganda with the beaders, their families, and the beads. You would feel their energy and industry as they leap up and dance at a moment's notice. Every time we get together they sing songs they have written about how, through BeadforLife, they are changing their lives and creating hope for their children. Each month they are climbing further out of poverty - sending a child to school, putting new tin roofing sheets on their homes, starting small businesses selling vegetables or shoes.

Here in North America we witnessed an incredible outpouring of generosity and participation. Can you believe that over 550 women hosted a BeadWear party inviting her friends, coworkers, and family to come and enjoy the beads? Each party was given with enthusiasm, creativity, and love. Hosts often say they touch the beads and can "feel" the hands of the Ugandan women. Some say they were so moved by the privilege of participating that they cried.

The circle of rich energy that is moving amongst all involved in this project is phenomenal. Everyone is receiving and giving - what a blessing. We hope you like this edition of The Bead, in which we offer an overview of the past year and a glimpse into 2006. We have big exciting work ahead, and invite you to join us this year. Together we will do even more to eradicate poverty one bead at a time!

Webale Nyo - Thank you so much,
Torkin and the BeadforLife Team

Highlights from 2005

- BFL purchased 8,000 pieces of jewelry each month generating income for 150 beaders and the 300 people they employ
- 20 Ugandan children attended primary and secondary school
- All of our beaders opened savings accounts.
- 550 BeadWear parties were hosted in Canada and the United States reaching approximately 20,000 people
- The beaders built their own BeadforLife community building
- An extensive BeadforLife survey was completed with the beaders helping evaluate our impact and guide future program decisions
- Well known singer Dar Williams wore beads at many of her concerts and spoke about BeadforLife to her audiences
- Mosquito nets, family planning services, first aid kits, school supplies, and treatment for malaria were distributed to beaders in exchange for beads
- Fans of American Idol star Clay Aiken held 26 pre-concert BeadWear parties
- Gilead Pharmaceutical became the first corporation to host a BeadWear party
- The BFL Compassion fund was established to help impoverished people with emergencies such as losing a home to fire, or experiencing a major medical problem.



Plans for 2006

- Forge a partnership with Habitat for Humanity that will allow the beaders to save for and build their own homes creating a model village.
- Start a vocational training pilot project for youth to learn skills that will provide regular work over a life time
- Expand our tailoring project to employ impoverished tailors. Watch for our new jewelry bags!
- Continue health initiatives in family planning and reproductive health services, malaria screening and treatment, and HIV prevention and treatment
- Expand our School Fees Program to sponsor 60 students for primary and secondary schooling
- Establish a new group of beaders in a rural area in Uganda
- Build our School to School project linking Ugandan and N. American schools
- Introduce a High School Curriculum on extreme poverty, Africa, highlighting how students can get involved
- Record the voices and songs of the beaders and making the CD available for BeadWear Parties, events, and speaking opportunities

Get Involved! Host a 2006 Bead Party

Thousands of people's lives were touched through BeadforLife this past year through Bead Parties. Our goal in 2006 is to reach even more people thus supporting more women in Uganda as they lift themselves out of poverty. When you sign up for a party, we send you everything you need including background information, recipes for Ugandan food, a DVD/video of the beaders themselves, and much more to make your party easy and fun. Sign up today to host a Valentines day, Easter, or spring party for your friends."

Pois é, não posso fazer muito para Make Poverty History mas posso ser a anfitriã de uma Bead Party, inscrevi-me para o fim deste mês, digam se estão interessados em ver e, quem sabe, comprar alguma coisa. Vão-me mandar as peças, um vídeo e todos os papéis que será necessário preencher para depois mandar de volta o dinheiro que se conseguir fazer e as peças que sobrarem. Farei a Bead Party em Setúbal, depois tenho ainda uns dias e, posso marcar encontro algures em Lisboa (na casa do meu irmão se ele deixar) se houver gente interessada em ver e comprar as peças.
Digam-me se querem participar na Bead Party aqui ou em Lisboa.

1 comentário:

elisabete disse...

Quida Gabe/Loca/Amiga!

Count me in! Wherever, whenever! E se puder ajudar na organização, estou à distância de um call me.

Tão bom saber que somos cada vez mais a querer FAZER pelo mundo, por todos nós.