Paper Bead Jewellery, BeadforLife, Uganda


Teddy, 33, is a single mother with three children. She was a happily married housewife until she gave birth to a baby girl who was born deaf. Her husband was angered by this and gave Teddy an ultimatum. If she wanted to continue with their marriage, she would have to get rid of baby Christine. Teddy couldn’t give her deaf baby away and her husband, staying true to his words, left her and discontinued any support for their family. Teddy had to fend for herself and her children.

Teddy’s work ethic was a natural ‘fit’ for BeadforLife. Teddy worked meticulously to ensure that her beads were all of the highest quality to sell to BeadforLife. She never wasted money on luxuries and with her good savings mind set; she was able to invest in a cow within the first three months of joining the program.  “Those three years without any one to turn to for help were the hardest years of my life. I worked so hard, yet the money was so little. I had become terribly thin and my sisters suggested I take the two children to their father. I was determined to do whatever it took to keep my children”. When staff from BeadforLife met her she was living in a shabby single room with a leaking roof. She was making crafts and washing clothes earning 30,000 shillings per month or about $12 a month. That’s less than 50 cents a day. 

After being trained in market research, she was able to identify a need that would evolve into a profitable business. She realised there was no constant water supply in her community and people had to travel long distances to get it. She invested in a huge water tank and began selling water to her neighbors. She also built a pigsty and began rearing pigs.  Soon she added  chickens. Today her piggery is thriving with eight pigs, she sells clean water from her 5,000 liter water tank and 500 chickens give her trays and trays of eggs to sell in Kampala.

Teddy has gone back to school and is pursuing a degree in Public Administration and management. 

Now that Teddy is thriving, her husband wants her back. “He has apologized for everything he did to me and begs me to go back to him, but I just cannot”, she says. 

Teddy perseveres to provide a better life for herself and her family. She has been able to educate her children in some of the top schools in the country, and her daughter Christine is thriving at the Ntinda School for the Deaf. Teddy is the epitome of how women can shine when given an opportunity with BeadforLife. Find out more about BeadforLife here

Click to here to see how Ugandan women like Teddy create their beautiful bead products.   

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