Search This Blog

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oasis Bead Show

This past weekend while I was at Marche La Recre a friend of mine, C, told me about the Oasis bead show that was going on at Place Bonaventure. Knowing what freaks us jewelry makers can be about stones, beads, etc, C knew that I would be all over these beads made in Uganda, Africa.

The Company is called Akonye Kena Self-Sufficiency Project Ltd was established in 2009 to provide young artisans in Uganda a venue to sell their goods and earn a sustainable income.

Akonye Kena arose from the volunteer experiences of its founder, Richard Kennair, in Uganda over the past 8 years. Richard found that while there were many self-sufficiency projects training youth in a ‘sellable skill’, the success of these projects varied.

The challenge to be met was how can we provide an outlet for these well-intended projects so that they can truly be self-sufficient and not reliant on aid. The result was Akonye Kena.

Meaning I will help myself in Acholi, a tribal language in northern Uganda, Akonye Kena is a program that works with community-based self-sufficiency projects.

Women At Risk is based just outside of Jinja, Uganda. They are a group that works with young women, many of whom are single mothers, who are either working the streets or at risk of working the streets. WAR provides non-judgemental support, counselling and training offering the young women the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Akonye Kena is the primary sponsor of Women At Risk, providing close to 100% of funding for the group.

The beads that I bought, similar to the ones below were made by women in Uganda from recycled paper and then coated with a sealant that makes them water proof.

These Pictures do not do these beads justice. As an artisan working with paper these beads have really inspired me. Look out for some creations I will be posting soon using these beads!

Hopefully if I have enough demand I will continue purchasing these beauties in a effort to support this wonderful international project!




  1. I bought some blue and gold beads from akonye Kena on eBay. I am very happy with them! What a great cause to support!

  2. I hosted and worked with Richard Kennair in Uganda, I commend his efforts in uplifting the socio and economical life of the Ugandan youths. Good name for the organisation.

    Kibuuka Ambrose