Susan, Betreace, Dorine, Margrete, Benna and Janet

Susan, Betreace, Dorine, Margrete, Benna and Janet

 Gulu Beads - Beautifully handcrafted paper jewelry made by the mothers of Wipolo

Gulu Beads - Beautifully handcrafted paper jewelry made by the mothers of Wipolo

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Gulu Beads and the Bead Makers

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Gulu Beads are paper beads handmade by the Ruganga Lakica (God is Merciful) women's group of the village of Wipolo (Heaven) in Gulu, Uganda.

During Fr. James' visit in January 2012, my parents vacationed in Florida and visited the Epcot Center. Knowing of my connection with an African Priest, my mother brought home a bracelet made from recycled park maps that was made in Gulu, Uganda. 

Margarete, shows me the beads made with Delaware's state colors.

After showing Fr. James, he informed me that women from his village make beads like the one I was gifted. I asked if they made them for a certain company, thinking that we would patronize that company. He told me that they were just a small group who are struggling very much and made them as added income to support their families. I asked him to send me some and I would try to sell them among my family and friends. 

The beads and their story have provided the extra income the women needed. They hoped, with the proceeds from the beads, they would be able to buy a grinding mill. The beads were such a success, they were able to buy two mills and start a small business.  This grinding business has allowed them to open a small shop to dispense medicine which is well needed in this area.  The sale of these beads in the United States has not only helped the women's group of Wipolo, but their entire community as well. - Mary Gispert