BOULDER, Colo. — Women can sport strings of pink, red, and purple beads this Valentine’s Day to show their caring for industrious African women working their way out of extreme poverty. Nonprofit BeadforLife ( offers Valentines Day-hued bracelets, necklaces, chokers, and other jewelry – also available in many other vibrant colors – handmade by Ugandan women who are HIV-positive or refugees from a brutal civil war in Uganda, all of whom were living on less than $1 a day. Many care for numerous AIDS orphans.

BeadforLiveThe high-quality beaded jewelry is hand-rolled from recycled paper and has been featured in O Magazine, Family Circle, AARP, and on the Today Show. The income women make from the jewelry allows them to feed their families, provide medicine and school fees, and even establish savings. All net profits from BeadforLife are reinvested in community projects that fight extreme poverty, through housing, health, and entrepreneurial skills training.

Since its creation in 2004, BFL’s success in fighting AIDS and poverty has been substantial:

    * The 165 BFL beaders have allowed almost 3,000 others to climb out of poverty.

    * The average beader now makes more than $850 a year and has a savings account.

    * About 70 percent report improved health, and 75 percent have enrolled a child in school for the first time.

“The beaders are incredibly hardworking, and every dollar they make goes into critical things, like sending children to school, paying for healthcare, and saving to build a home,” says Devin Hibbard, BFL North American director. “Meanwhile, Americans hungry to make a difference in Africa have opened their hearts and homes to the beaders and invested in their future. It’s a wonderful American-to-African connection.”

About 2,000 home BeadParties and business- and community-sponsored events have been held in the past two years to sell the beads.

BFL collaborates with local medical services for family planning, HIV testing and diagnosis, and malaria treatment. It has a vocational training program for beaders and their families. It is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build new homes and with Jeffrey Sach’s Millennium Promise to address African poverty.

For more information about BeadforLife or to place an order, please visit: All Valentines orders must be placed by Feb 9 in order to be received by Valentine’s Day.

[tags]caring for HIV African women, nonprofit BeadforLife organization, jewelry handmade by Ugandan women[/tags]