Thursday, March 11, 2010

The African Vero Collection

On my recent travels through East Africa, I was able to buy/haggle/make trades for hand-made African beads. The beads include amber from Kenya, black and white African batik, hand-made clay from Tanzania, African wood and some very special beads that are made from paper by the women in Uganda.

The result is: The African Vero Collection, named after a 17-year-old girl at an orphanage I volunteered at in Uganda. Veronica is quite possibly one of the most ambitious teenagers I’ve ever met.

When she was just a baby her mother died of AIDS. Her father would not care for her; the youngest of seven siblings and the only girl in the family. She was brought to the orphanage, where she has been raised. Her friends there call her Vero.

Right now she is finishing her final semester of secondary school. Afterward, she plans to attend law school in a Kampala university. She’s smart enough to succeed – she has straight A’s and is the third highest scoring student in her district. The trouble is that there is no funding in place for her university.
What a shame for a young girl with such potential and drive to not be able to go to university because she cannot afford it.

Inspired by Veronica, I’ve started a Scholarship Fund to help her and the other orphaned children achieve higher levels of education. In the coming months, I’ll be talking up a storm about our fundraisers, including a special one for Mother’s Day.

As part of that, I’ve decided to donate ALL of the funds raised from this collection of jewellery to the Scholarship Fund. Because I’m not taking any profit from these sales, the pricing is different. You will see, for each piece, I’ve made a suggested donation price.

You can view photos of the jewellery on:
Facebook -
Flickr at

The jewellery was photographed by Patricia Loeppky – she did an incredible job. You can check out her photography on her Facebook page, Patrycja Loeppky Photography. Thank you, Patricia!

Also – thank you to Aynsley Morris who donated some of the beads used in these pieces. She purchased them during recent travels to Kenya and Ethiopia.

If you want to know more about the Nzirambi Orphans Talent Development Centre, check out our Facebook group at

Thank you for your support.

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