The beader groups receive better than fair trade prices for the products they produce as a cottage industry either at their individual homes or working together at their group meeting place. When Outreach Uganda markets the products at retail, the beader or the beader groups receive 70% of the ultimate retail price of the product.
Besides marketing their products extensively within the U.S., Outreach Uganda also encourages the group to develop new products including variations of paper beaded items and also new lines of products such as the batik sling bags and 100% silk tie-dyed scarves.
Beaders use their individual bead monies for buying food and needed medicines, for paying school fees for their children, for saving (10% is the goal), and for starting new businesses which will help sustain their families year round with no dependence either on OU or others.
Each beader group gets to choose how to use the allocated “group” bead monies through their annual budgeting process. In past years, these group monies have been used for providing computer training, providing English and literacy classes, beginning a tailoring program, and probably the thing the ladies are most excited about: adding to their own internal revolving loan fund so they can make micro-loans to their own members.
What is Fair Trade? Fair trade assures more than just fair wages, it addresses:
- Fair wages
- Protection of children’s rights
- Women’s rights
- Environmental rights
- Indigenous rights