African Origins is a big supporter of woman’s rights in Africa. We believe that feminism holds the key to resolving
many of the continent’s problems either directly or indirectly.
It is for that reason that we are constantly on the lookout of objects made by African women, particularly if these women have organized themselves into cooperative selling groups caring for each other as well as their extended communities by means of the funds which their projects generate.
One such cooperative we discovered recently was the Botswana Paper Bead Project based in Gaborone or Gabs, as it is affectionately known to the locals. Made up of twenty women from the surrounding district, the ladies of the Botswana Paper Bead Project make unique handmade necklaces from rolled re-cycled paper.
Each necklace is completely handmade and unique, each bead being hand rolled from re-cycled paper waste. The varnish used to seal each bead is environmentally friendly clear shellac. They last for years and make a striking fashion statement at the same time.
The project such as this has many flow on benefits for the local community and the set up costs are negligible since the primary source is garbage that would otherwise go into landfill. The only part of the necklace that costs money to produce is the string and the brass threaded clasp at each end.
Anyhow, to cut a long story short, we liked what we saw and we decided to do some business with these wonderful ladies. In due course, our initial order arrived at the African Origins ware house in Melbourne and we listed them on the African Origins website along with some beautiful photographs taken by African Origins supporter and world famous photographer, Christopher Rimmer.
We have been shipping these lovely paper bead necklaces all over the world and have just placed our second order with our ladies back in Gabs, who tell us that funds raised from our initial order went to help first time mothers in the local community.
We are not saying that these necklaces are going to save the world but what a beautiful idea hey? You purchase one of these and we buy two more and this beautiful little organization gets a revenue stream to do good in sunny Botswana I that’s got to be a good thing right?