For nearly three decades, Uganda was devastated by an ongoing, bloody war ravaging East Africa. The country endured burnings of its villages, mass abductions of its children for use as soldiers or sex slaves, and brutal tortures and massacres of its people.
The war ended, and for the last decade, Uganda has enjoyed relative peace and a steady -- though slow -- development rate. Still, much of its population lives in extreme poverty (less than $1 daily), and of the rest, many are poor. The war has been over for more than a decade, but its effects are still felt.
Despite development, unemployment remains high, and growing annually. About 62% of working-aged people under 30 years old are unemployed, according to a study by Action Aid International Uganda.
For many Ugandans, there are few options. They'd like to work, but finding employment, especially long-term employment, is difficult. So, many of them seek to create their own futures.
Using recycled and salvaged paper, they create tightly rolled beads that they paint bright colors and use to make jewelry. By doing this, many Ugandans hope to create their own work.
There's just one problem: There are very few customers in Uganda. Many women spend hours daily creating jewelry, knowing sales will be seldom. It's their only opportunity, however small, to earn some money.
That's where Tuli comes in: We have access to customers. We work with talented artisans in Kampala to adapt their craft toward global customers and then bring the market to them. This is their business, not ours. We simply help them find customers.
By purchasing a Tuli product, you are giving women a new opportunity to earn an income. You empower them to use the skills they already have to create their own future. That's what Tuli is all about.