Fair Trade Jewelry and Ethical Fashion

Stories of Hope in Uganda – Trades of Hope

by | Artisans, Stories of Hope

Discover Stories of Hope in Uganda! In Uganda, many families have been displaced from their anscentoral homes by war, extreme poverty, lack of education, lack of job opportunities, and discrimination. As a result, many families face homelessness and starvation. But women in Uganda are leading their families out of poverty through creating traditional art and jewelry, using Artisans skills passed down for generations.

(Read Time: 5 min.)

Upcycled Hand-Rolled Paper Beads

Empowering Women Out of Slums

As a war refugee, Florence wanted to provide more for her family and her community. She’s inspired so many women in the slums of Uganda by giving them the tools to make an income and have hope for their future. They’re now able to afford better living conditions, medical expenses, and send their children to school. Florence shared with us that many of these women are understanding their worth for the first time in their lives, as they experience the joy of dignified work!


Florence’s Story of Hope in Uganda

“Before I started working with Trades of Hope, I use to live hand to mouth. I was dependent on my brothers for house rent, school fees for my son and medical bills.

But that changed when I started working with Trades of Hope. I’m now self-reliant. I’ve acquired assets like land and even constructed a house in the village. I have access to better medical care, and I pay my own medical bills! I’m also able to support other vulnerable relatives and people from the community.

I’m stress free and not worried about the future anymore!” – Florence, Artisan in Uganda


Caroline’s Story of Hope in Uganda

“In our community, many people lost their jobs during the pandemic and the rate of teenage pregnancy went up.

During Lockdown, we were at home and idle, so my friend who was already working with this Artisan community connected to mama Florence who trained me.

I thank God that we received orders from Trade of Hope during the pandemic because we were running out of foodstuff and my daddy had lost his job.

My favorite memory as an Artisan is the day I joined this Artisan community – I met very friendly people who helped me to learn quickly – and also the day I received my first payment from designing!

I’ve learned new skills and I’ve been able to raise money to buy school requirements and have pocket money. 

Without my work, I would depend on my parents for all my necessities and miss school sometimes due to failures to clear school fees in time. Now, I’m able to make paper bracelets and support my parents by buying some of the school requirements by myself.” – Caroline

“My dream is to complete my studies and become financially independent.”

– Caroline, Artisan in Uganda

Lwongoya’s Story of Hope in Uganda

“I lost both parents when I was around 10 years old. We are six girls and one boy. I am the last born. In our community, we have many school dropouts and teenage mothers who cannot find good jobs because of their low level of education. I learned my Artisan skills in this workshop. I roll the papers into beads, varnish and sort them, and then start designing.

My sister knew about this Artisan community, so she connected me to Florence to learn how to make beads since I was a school dropout and had no job. I was uncertain about my future, and I was unable to buy things like sanitary pads.

But today, I’m able to buy things I need. I’ve even joined a tailoring school because I can afford to buy the requirements and pay fees. I’ve also bought some equipment, and I’m saving money to start my own business.

I was unable to do these things before this work. The pandemic brought a lot of uncertainty, so I was happy when we received an order!

Trades of Hope and this Artisan community, they train us, then give us work with fair pay and a flexible work schedule. We even work at our homes sometimes! 

My favorite memory as an Artisan is when I successfully designed my first products on my own – from the beginning to finish! Without my work, I would fail to set up my own business and do other things like training in tailoring and building a house, among others.” – Lwongoya

“I want to have my own fashion and design business and also go for adult education up to university level.” – Lwongoya, Artisan in Uganda

Traditional Handwoven Baskets

Empowering Conservation Refugees to Overcome Discrimination & Poverty

The Batwa people of Uganda became conservation refugees when they were forced from their ancient rainforest homeland. Despised by their countrymen and denied basic human rights, mothers weave these traditional baskets, working to save their children from starvation and keep their families together.

Nyirabaza’s Story of Hope in Uganda

When Nyirabaza’s husband passed away, she desperately needed a way to provide food and shelter for her nine surviving children.

Scared and still grieving the deaths of her husband and one of her ten children, she began selling her handcrafted baskets.

Nyiransabimaana’s Story of Hope

“Weaving the traditional baskets of my Batwa ancestors has changed my life.

I remember when famine hit Uganda really hard. It was evening, and we had nothing to eat.

Selling my basket was like God coming down. I got enough money to buy food for a month.” – Nyiransabimaana, Artisan in Uganda

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Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas is an inspirational writer with a passion for helping women discover and celebrate their unique gifts and abilities. Kathy is part of the Communications Team at Trades of Hope focusing on Artisan advocacy.