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BeadforLife Program Helps Lift Ugandans Out of Poverty

A program that helps Ugandans sell beads in America has brought hundreds of families out of extreme poverty through a woman-to-woman network focused on sales at house parties and a Web store. Spencer Michels reports on the program and the people it helps.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Next, how women in North America have changed the lives of hundreds of women in Uganda. Spencer Michels narrates our story of a group called BeadforLife.

  • SPENCER MICHELS, correspondent:

    For five years, women in Uganda have been excited about BeadforLife. Co-founded by American Torkin Wakefield, this nonprofit has brought hundreds of people out of extreme poverty. It's all been done with beads, rolling them, stringing them, selling them.

  • UGANDAN WOMAN:

    BeadforLife!

  • SPENCER MICHELS:

    Before Wakefield came along, many of the beaders earned less than $1 a day breaking rocks in a gravel pit and lived in malaria-infested slums.

  • TORKIN WAKEFIELD, Co-Founder, BeadforLife:

    Look at your baby. She looks really healthy!

    Hello, Moses, yes, the proud papa.

  • SPENCER MICHELS:

    So how did BeadforLife help Moses Kwanze, his blind wife, Ruth Machala, and others earn $280 a month and own their own homes? Social entrepreneur Wakefield says it was one step at a time.

  • TORKIN WAKEFIELD:

    I think, for me personally, that I never understood where we were going. I never had a clear vision, and even yet for BeadforLife. It's you start, you take a step, and you pay attention. And as you see what options you have in front of you, you make the next smart decision.

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