Adinkra Waist Beads

Here’s a little story about the power of adinkra symbols.
About two years ago, a young woman came to visit me to purchase some waist beads. As she viewed the selection, she became excited when she saw a set of amethyst waist beads adorned with the gye nyame adinkra symbol. “What’s this?” she asked.
I explained an adinkra is a West African symbol, and each one presents a cultural message or wisdom. The gye nyame represents the power of Spirit with the message, “I fear no one but God.”
“Wow,” said young woman. “I never knew that!”
She then showed me the gye nyame she had tattooed on her shoulder! “You got that tattoo without knowing what it meant?” I asked, amazed.
“I got it about 6 months ago and the artist wasn’t sure of its meaning
,” she replied. “But I was drawn to it. I just liked the way it looked.” The adinkra’s meaning couldn’t have been revealed at a more appropriate time because she was experiencing a life-threatening illness and needed her courage.
Somehow our ancestors knew.

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Alice Monje’s loan bought chicks and now she runs a thriving chicken business with the help of her entire family. Allen Namerome’s loan started a bean and grain trading business; profits allowed her to buy cows and other livestock that vastly improve her family’s nutrition. Joy Nangalama started a fish business with her loan and switched to selling beer, to operating a motorcycle taxi, to leasing out a chain saw to stay profitable and one step ahead of the competition.

These women all benefitted from loans provided by WMI, the US-based Women’s Microfinance Initiative.  This wonderful organization provides loans to impoverished women in rural East Africa, giving them the opportunity to start their own businesses. With the revenues generated from these micro-enterprises, the women are able to raise the standard of living for their families and helping to make their futures more secure. As of January 2016, WMI had issued 25,000 loans totaling $3.5 million to women in more than 1,000 villages in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

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Wrap and Soul has been supporting the U.S.-based organization WMI (Women’s Microfinance Initiative) since the last quarter of 2016. WRAP AND SOUL GIVE-BACK PROJECT! When customers purchase ** Five African Waist Beads On Special Sale For $25 ** a portion of the payment – 15 percent – will be donated to the US-based Women’s Microfinance Initiative.


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