Using Beads/Jewelry As Economic Development Tool
Posted by learntobead on April 15, 2010
Using Beads and Jewelry
As Tools For Community and Economic Development
Recently, I read a column by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times entitled Partying to Change the World.
I wanted to share this link with you.
In the article Kristof discusses the work of BeadforLife.
Here two women created an economic support system based on the talents of African women who make beads from trash, and the profit-motive — selling the beads in finished jewelry at home parties in America, and reinvesting this money back in the local enterprises in Africa.
Moreover, they developed an educational program about Africa for American schools. The motivation was marketing, but the outcomes far exceed that.
Fascinating story and case study. I meet many people each year who work with local villagers around the world, to help them find markets for their jewelry, better beading supplies for their craft, and strategies for improving productivity in their efforts. Here’s a very full and flushed out operation to learn from.