Summer of Dreams: Grace

In celebration of Grace’s story we’re offering 20% off our 2012 Summer Collection!

As a child Achiro Grace experienced some things that no one should have to experience. But somehow she has maintained a trajectory of peace and prosperity, now raising four wonderful children and working hard to pay for their education. She inspires us. We hope she inspires you, too.

In celebration of her story we’re offering 20% off our 2012 Summer Collection for a limited time. Shop here!

Summer of Dreams: Christine

[To celebrate Christine's accomplishments we are offering 25% off all necklaces in our online store thru July 4th! Shop here.]

Summer of Dreams: Christine

Christine recalls a day in her youth when the Lord’s Resistance Army attacked. She ran as fast as she could into the wild savannah of northern Uganda, her clothes catching and tearing on the thick vegetation. She hid in the tall grass until the sounds of the assault stopped, and then slowly, quietly made her way back to a devastated home. To connect the dots between that moment and where Christine is today is to see an indomitable character.

After escaping from the war she moved to Kampala, where a life of poverty and hard labor was her only option to support her growing family. She is raising five daughters and a baby son, who surprised her at 40-years-old. Despite a past shot through by war, despite options limited to slum life and physical labor, despite the many cultural weights stacked against Ugandan women in general, Christine has become a successful leader, elected to local government, and a major landlord in the Acholi Quarters community, renting out 20 rooms that she has built over the years.

Christine told us that she has three major dreams in life: To see all her children receive the best educations possible; To have her own business; and To build a house in her home district of Kitgum that her family can rely on for decades to come.

Thanks to her incredible determination, and thanks to everyone who has supported us and purchased our jewelry, she is accomplishing all three. All her children who are old enough are in school (an expensive endeavor in Uganda), with the oldest in nursing school. Her real estate business is bringing in consistent income. And a few weeks back I got to visit her nearly completed house in Kitgum.

Christine is a person a deeply respect, and a woman I truly admire. We are lucky to call her a partner, and to get to support her as she achieves her dreams.

Christine at her house
Christine with her husband’s family at her house in Kitgum.

Christine and her girls
Christine and her five daughters at their home in Kampala.

Christine and Esther visit their homes in Kitgum.

Displaced No More: Building Dream Homes in Northern Uganda (Video)


Christine and her family in front of her almost finished house. Video and more photos below.

My first visit to Kitgum, a dusty town in northern Uganda, was in 2006, when there were still curfews on the roads to prevent rebel attacks, and countless thousands of Ugandans were confined to squalid displacement camps. My second trip was a week ago. This time I came to visit two of our partners who are building homes for their families. Everything has changed.

Christine and Esther are two of the elders of our partner group. Both are extremely bright and entrepreneurial, not to mention hilarious. And both fled their homes to save their families during Kony’s war. I found them on Christine’s in-laws’ land. Across the street was a site where, a few years ago, thousands of people were stuck in an IDP camp, malnourished and without opportunity. Today the land is planted thickly with tall, green stalks of maize.

Christine led us away from the road, on a footpath through clusters of mud huts, and finally to her big concrete house. She gave us a tour, pointing out the sitting room, the kitchen, the master bedroom, the garage. It’s not yet finished, but already it’s the nicest house in the neighborhood.

Next we jumped on motorcycles and rode to Esther’s land, where the foundation and the first height of brick walls outline her new home’s floor-plan. She walked us through the house and motioned out to the big garden surrounding it, growing food for her family.

Out there, looking over Esther’s land in the sunset light, I thought about the staggering victory this moment represented for these women. They overcame two decades of war, displacement from their homes, a culture that denies women most opportunities offered to men, and the quicksand of poverty. And now they stand proudly on land that they own, in front of homes that will invite their families into peace and security for many years to come.

These are women I deeply admire.


Esther and her son standing in front of her garden and the growing walls of her house.


Neighbor kids wonder about the white guy while Christine does some housekeeping.