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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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    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.




    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.


    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.


    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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