Fair Trade Crafts and Paper Beaded Jewelry


Fair Trade Crafts and Paper Bead Jewelry Lovingly Handmade by Uganda Women. 

Paper beads from Uganda,. An important fair trade craft.

Beautiful paper beads from our Jinja beaders in Uganda. Ajuleta shows her 5-strand necklace.

Our women’s beader groups receive better than fair trade prices for the beautiful artisan fair trade crafts they produce as a cottage industry either at their individual homes or working together at their group meeting place. On average, we return 70% of the retail product price to a combination of the woman who made the fair trade craft item, and to our programs which benefit women’s groups and their communities.

Outreach Uganda markets their fair trade crafts extensively within the U.S. We also encourage the groups to develop new products including additional paper beaded jewelry and craft products. That’s how we added new lines of products such as the batik sling bags and 100% silk tie-dyed scarves. Shop now for your fair trade crafts and jewelry and help a woman and her family overcome poverty! Use your purchasing power to make a difference. All profits go to our beaders and for specific programming items which benefit their groups and communities.  Almost all of our U.S. labor is volunteer.

What Do the Ugandan Women Buy With their Fair Trade Crafts Earnings? 

Our Ugandan women beaders use their individual bead monies for buying food and needed medicines, for paying school fees for their children,and  for saving. 10% is the savings goal. In addition, they can start new businesses and income-generation projects which will help sustain their families long-term  with no dependence either on Outreach Uganda or others.

Rupina, displays paper beaded necklace one of many fair trade crafts she makes.

Rupina proudly displays her bright neon colored paper bead necklaces.

Each beader group helps identify which projects and programs the craft earnings should help support. In past years, earnings have been used for things such as:

  • micro-credit loan funds managed by the women’s groups
  • agricultural projects to grow cash crops
  • providing English and literacy classes
  • computer and tailoring training
  • tailoring training program
  • purchase of land for a  home ownership program
  • assistance to the community’s parent supported primary school
  • assistance to the community’s local health clinic

 Paper Beaded Jewelry Very Important Fair Trade Craft Item

Since Outreach Uganda’s inception in 2007, we have sold over $1,000,000 worth of fair trade crafts including paper beaded jewelry items, including  necklaces, bracelets and earrings in both simple and very elaborate models.  Our women are very capable  and focus on producing high quality items.

The women focus on long-term results for their lives, and realize that customer satisfaction is very important.   Other paper beaded products include coin purses, wine glass charms, ornaments, lanyards, eyeglass leashes and rosaries.  The women also produce loose beads in all sizes, shades, colors and patterns that are used by jewelers and crafters. For larger orders, they can even make products to the customer’s exact specifications.

Customer Special Orders for Larger Quantities are Welcomed

Please contact us if you are interested in having our Ugandan women produce paper beaded jewelry, paper beads, or other  fair trade crafts to your specifications.  We would be happy to work with you on this.  We believe our women are some of the most talented and quality oriented paper bead producers in the industry! Please provide a photo, detailed drawing, or sample of your desired item. This helps them easily see what is needed.


Uganda paper bead jewelry, one of Outreach Uganda's many fair trade crafts.

Christine displaying her artisan handcrafted paper bead jewelry.

 What is Fair Trade and Why are Fair Trade Crafts Important?

Fair trade assures more than just fair wages, it addresses:

  1. Fair wages – this mean not paying too low of wages or price just because the seller may be very desperate to sell his/her product and is very poor; stable business partnerships
  2. Protection of children’s rights – no forced labor of children; promotes children’s education
  3. Women’s rights – prevents sexual harassment, promotes equal pay
  4. Environmental stewardship – safe use and handling of materials, responsible energy use and waste management
  5. Empowerment – focus on training and capacity building, transparency

Outreach Uganda commits to these principles and pays its beaders what we consider to be a better than fair trade price. Our price to individual beaders is higher than most prices that we are aware that other suppliers are paying for similar products because we believe that morally, this is the right thing to do. It keeps the most money possible (from the product’s eventual sale in the western world) in the developing country. Moreover, it helps build the capabilities and capacity of Ugandans to manage things themselves.

Outreach Uganda also commits to providing significant and relevant training opportunities for our beaders.  Since our inception, this has included business training; English, literacy and numeracy training; leadership training; and additional trainings in craft skills.

Want to find out more about our women beaders?  Read more of the Uganda women’s stories.