Happy Africa day. Five years ago this June, I visited Africa for the first time. People who had been before warned me that once you visit, it gets in you and you're always wanting to go back. My first visit was to Uganda. And I was in love. The beauty mixed with the harsh realities and history of the land... yet the joy and strength of the people shining through everything. My next visit was just a few months later (to set up JustOne) and I saw more of Africa (Kenya and South Africa). I knew I'd never be the same. My African brothers and sisters have taught me so much and inspired me in more ways than I can count. I'm madly in love with my home land of Canada, but Africa (especially east Africa) has a very special real place in my heart. Sharing a few of the thousands of images I've captured from over the years there.... celebrating you today Africa!
We just love these bracelet sets. They're designed to fit a man and a child. Think... father and daughter. Uncle and nephew. Coach. Teacher. Mentor. Grandpa. Think... world changing fashion. Changing the world can start young! These bracelets are hand made in kibera slums in Kenya. Available on our website under new items!
Sometimes making a difference is subtle. Like this layered necklace. Simple but beautiful. And it's offering employment and hope to artisans living in kibera slums in Kenya. That's world changing fashion.
The main motivation behind all of our artisan partners work is their desire for a bright future for their children. Education. Good health. Proper nutrition. It's an honour to watch these children grow over the years and be a part of their lives. This is Rose. She lives in kibera slums in Kenya. She's learning English, always laughing, a fantastic cook and I always enjoy visiting in her home and enjoying a meal. Her and her husband have three children. Wendy, Prince and (pictured here) baby Krista who was named after me. (Still can't believe that!) I love watching her children grow up over the last 4+ years I've known her.
"Give thanks in all circumstances" (1 thess 5:16). Last night I was learning about gratitude journaling. And how important it is to stop each day and give thanks. There is always something to be thankful for. What are you thankful for today?
This weekend we were at the @thefairtradeshow Buy Good Feel Good Expo. The response was amazing. People loved the items so much and many people asked us to tell the artists how amazing their products were. As soon as I got home I sent an email to both of the artisan groups we partner with to pass along these messages. Letting them know that people love their jewellery so much because it is beautiful, fashionable and great quality. And then they find out about the story and love it even more. This was the response I received back from one of the groups in Kenya who makes this necklace shown… "You don't know how much I feel happy and courage right now as I right this text after I hear those great words from the customers who buys our items. Thank you very much." So thank you to everyone this weekend - and at anytime! - who has purchased our items. You are making a difference!
Happy Mother's Day this weekend to all the incredible mamas out there. This is Agnes and she is so loving and sweet to all. She is a former child soldier in Uganda and a single mom. She is working today making jewelry so all her kids can get an education. That's world changing fashion.
This weekend thinking of all the mamas working hard to provide for their families. Thank you to everyone who supports JustOne - because of you these mothers are providing for their families and their children are getting an education. Thank you. Asante. Apwoyo.
This amazing necklace is handcrafted by former child soldiers in Uganda. Each paper bead is rolled and glued and beaded by hand. This necklace gets noticed for its beauty and makes a difference by creating jobs and providing for families. That's world changing fashion.
Special bracelet sets just up on our website! The paper bead sets are designed to fit an adult woman and child (great for mother and daughter, a favourite aunt, and so many other possibilities!) and the brown bone set is designed to fit an adult male and a child (perfect for dad and child, and uncle, a teacher or mentor). These make amazing gifts! Who would you give yours to? I'm thinking my daughters would love this when they go away to camp.
Checking in with our artist partners this week and both have members sick with malaria. I never get use to hearing "oh. They just have a little malaria." Praying specifically for the health of Lucy, Agnes and Lillian this week. Grateful for our health care here and eager for good health care to be available to all. This photo was taken as we left Gulu, Uganda. Missing that place and those people there!