Monday, August 16, 2010

paper beads

One of my gogo friends in Malawi Africa was a jewelry maker. She enjoyed making necklaces and bracelets and did a good job. Lack of finances and resources in Malawi made it difficult for her to pursue the hobby she loved, so before going back on one of my visits I thought about collecting as many beads and jewelry accessories as I could from my friends here. I was very successful. My friends were very willing to donate beads and money to the cause. I collected a suitcase full! It was heavy, weighing close to the weight limit. When my friend received it in Malawi she was thrilled! She told me she felt like she could fall on the ground and roll around on the floor like a playful puppy! But she didn't, whew!
The gratitude for the simplest things in Malawi made me want to do more. Why couldn't my friend make a living doing what she loved? There are those who can help to make that happen like my friends at . They are helping gogos sew quilts, make tye dye materials and do some bead work to earn their own income. I had a plan.
Beads are heavy to transport and somewhere along the way I heard about an organization who have helped women in Uganda make their beads and jewelry out of paper! They are beautiful and easy to make. I thought this was an easier method in helping the gogos in Malawi. Light weight, easy to transport and beautiful. At one point I did try to teach the gogos how to make paper beads. The problem? This nation is so poor there is no where in their remote villages for them to get scrap paper. They use everything.
Enter....gorgeous grandma club....come one, come all to roll paper beads for gogos in Africa!!
Next entry I'll show you how to make them yourselves.....can't wait?


  1. I always love hearing what you guys are up to in your gorgeous grandmas' club. I love this latest project of yours!!!

  2. We get to do beads again? Yeay!

  3. Thanks Heather! this is not the latest but the vey first project we did. We can do it again though, Vicki!

  4. My fourth grade class got involved in this effort. Students were presented with the poverty of Uganda and how the people there make beads out of magazines. My class took the bead making method of Uganda and made bead necklaces throughout the year. They sold the necklaces at school events and raised $800 to send to an Uganda (Christian) Orphanage to help buy school supplies. It was amazing for them to be helping globally, making the same necklaces that the people of Uganda made. The whole school got behind this project!!
    Thanks to my good friend, Peggy, for helping this project fly. She let me pick her brain and took a Saturday to show me how to roll the beads. Thanks, too, to Kim for connecting us!