It was an unexpected statistic in our research. Twenty sounded high, but the numbers were right there, double-checked. Each displaced Ugandan we employed spread the benefits of their income to approximately 20 people around them – children, spouses, nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters, parents and grandchildren; all of them benefitted from a single, well-earned income.
I was working with a nonprofit called Invisible Children, running part of their operation in northern Uganda. We had just finished conducting a round of research among the beneficiaries of my program, trying to plumb the details of how our work was helping, and where it might be falling short.
This was arguably the single most important finding in shaping my work and understanding. These impoverished, war stricken Acholi people, most of whom had never made a fair day’s wage in their lives, took the money they earned, which was still low by American standards, and essentially gave it away to 20 people around them. They used it where it was needed most, filling needs that we never would have seen.
Acholi Beads now partners with 16 similarly displaced Acholi women. It’s safe to assume that these women also spread their earnings to 20 people each – about 320 people total. That’s an impact.
And we want to do more. A lot more.
This idea of “Times 20” inspires us. We know that if we can partner with enough women, a whole community can be changed. They will use their earnings to make sure their families are cared for, and to raise up a new generation of Acholi leaders. So we have set a goal. We want to partner with 100 women by 2010. Does your mind immediately do the math? That’s 2,000 people benefiting from the sale of this beautiful jewelry.
How will Acholi Quarters change when this is a reality? How many more kids will be in school? How big will the smiles be on the faces of the 100 women? And their children?
We’re excited to find out. Help us get there.
Contact us to find out about distributing Acholi Beads in your area. The more we can work to expand the market, the more women we can partner with, and the more people benefit.