Lesturda
Uganda
Bead Maker
Widowed
1 child

My name is Lesturda, and I am a widow. For a long time, I felt helpless, and lonely. Then I met Pastor Bea, who helped me pay rent and brought me to church. There, I met a group of women, who taught me how to make paper beads. Some of the women in the group are former prostitutes. But together, we have become friends and craftspeople—we talk and laugh together as we make beads and string them into necklaces and bracelets to be sold in the U.S. The bead makers in my group are capable craftswomen and they are now training other women. At our weekly meetings we work on leadership development and think about ways to deliver consistent, high quality products to the market. Our main concerns are gaining a consistent foreign market for the paper bead necklaces and the rising cost of paper. My group’s vision is to work hard, serve God, and have a good life. Bead making has changed my life completely. I now have a home and enough money to buy food and electricity. I also have a new direction and a reason to live again. I thought that the only people who could be happy were only those who had a good life. But even in a hard life, you can find God and find reasons to be happy. This new beginning in my life makes me want to sing; to celebrate not only the present, but the good times to come. I am so happy that my son will now be able to grow up healthy and enjoy his life.