Friday, January 6, 2012

Philanthropy Friday – Project Have Hope

There are so many wonderful organizations that combine philanthropy and crafts that we have decided to highlight one each Friday. This week for our first Philanthropy Friday article I have asked a dear friend and family member to tell us about a group that is near and dear to her heart. I have purchased beads from this group and love them all! Here is a note about Project Have Hope from Heather. . .

Project Have Hope  (PHH) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower women in the Acholi Quarter of Kampala, Uganda by providing education to both the women and their children and assisting the women to establish business opportunities to promote economic stability and sustainability.

Project Have Hope (PHH) works with a group of one hundred women, most of whom were displaced during the ongoing civil war in Northern Uganda and forced to relocate to the capital city of Kampala in the southern part of the country. PHH strives to fulfill its goal of giving each woman the tools needed so that she can become self-sufficient by providing a number of programs such as adult literacy, sustainable agriculture, microfinance loans, vocational training, and other educational opportunities. The women of the Project Have Hope community are strong, hardworking, and inspiring; however, their needs and responsibilities are great, often beyond the reach of their limited resources.  They consistently struggle to feed their families and send their children to school, which results in entire families becoming entrenched in an ongoing cycle of poverty.

In response to recognizing the greatness of these needs and the gap between resources to meet them, PHH created a relationship with these women. Through this relationship, Project Have Hope has tapped into the artistry and industriousness of these extraordinary women. The women make beautiful, colorful jewelry from paper - individual works of art, really. PHH has developed markets in the United States for the sale of the jewelry and the revenue is used to fund educational and economic programs. In this way, the women are actually using their skills and hard work to help pull themselves out of poverty.

PHH started buying beads from its members in 2006 and through this partnership, sales have increased significantly. Our product line has grown and expanded and now includes: various bracelets, earrings, necklaces, anklets, and cloth bags. These products are sold in U.S. markets, with the revenue returning to Uganda. In addition to a volunteer network that sells beads at craft fairs and private events, we also have a thriving online store.  In 2010, each of PHH’s 100 members earned about $75 per month. These women receive monthly payments so that they can depend on a steady income. The portion of the money not paid back to the craftswomen goes to the numerous PHH programs. Currently, this is the key funding component of the educational and vocational training programs offered by Project Have Hope, which have set numerous women on a path towards self-sufficiency and success.

The women of PHH have the skill and desire needed to pull themselves out of the perpetuating cycle of poverty that currently entrenches their families - they just need a little help. More information can be found online at: There are many ways to get involved including: hosting a bead party, volunteering, sponsoring a child and shopping in the online store. Your contribution will help feed a family, educate a child and empower a village. Support the women of Project Have Hope today!

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