Performances: Bead for Life

Connie was a Community Partner for over a decade with a non-profit organization that was very dear to her heart. Bead for Life was dedicated to teaching Ugandan women business and entrepreneurial skills. The women learned how to roll small strips of paper into beautiful, colorful beads which in turn they strung into bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Then the paper bead jewelry was distributed and sold all around the world. By crafting and selling jewelry, these women lifted themselves out of extreme poverty.

Brush the Dust From My Heart

In 2007, Connie traveled to Kampala, Uganda to meet the women behind Bead for Life jewelry. “Brush the Dust From My Heart: A Storyteller’s Journey in Uganda” is Connie’s powerful tribute to these women. Her telling draws together and brings to life the many stories of tragedy and triumph, voices, faces and music of the Ugandan women she encountered during her trip. Namakasa Rose (pictured right) is one of these incredible women whose story greatly impacted Connie’s life – and her Bead For Life story.

Namakasa Rose, one of the beaders Connie met

A creative blend of storytelling and visual imagery, this presentation elevates PowerPoint to a performance art as Connie tells the stories of the beaders she met and raises awareness about world wide poverty and what we can each do to help eradicate it.

Examples of the BFL jewelry created by Ugandan women.

Sharing the Story

Contact Connie if you want to learn more about Bead for Life, Connie’s role as a Community Partner, and the options for bringing the story of “Bead For Life and Beyond” a part of your next event.  

Connie is pleased to share with you that Bead for Life and the circle of inspiration and engagement between impoverished women in Africa and supporters around the world has transformed into a sister organization called Street Business School.

Check out their website to learn more about this world-class entrepreneurial training program that builds women’s confidence and provides business skills, so they can launch micro-businesses and lift their families from deep poverty. It was recently honored by being named Best Non-Profit by the 14 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates of PeaceJam! Street Business School, a global movement is continuing to flourish and aims to ignite 1 million women out of poverty by 2027!

Watch Connie tell a short story about meeting Namakasa Rose during visit to Kampala, Uganda and the powerful impact it has had on Connie’s view of the world.

Connie’s performance of “Hope is back on me” changed the auditorium into a “neighborhood” with her pictures, voices, and stories about the African beaders. She told their stories of violence with grace and ease. Hearing her laugh along with these lovely women made the miles disappear.

Gwenda Ledbetter

Thank you for being you, for telling wonderful stories of remarkable women, for your ever-lasting beauty, for your grace, for your wisdom, for opening portals to infinite possibilities, for extending yourself again and again. I didn’t want to take off my beads.

Damaris Pierce

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