In the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, farmers supply bead makers with artillery shells that they find on their lands (from former war conflicts).
Through traditional techniques passed from generation to generation, the village artisans melt these shells down to produce handmade, delicate beads. The beads go through several stages to achieve the final polished look, and are then sent to Entoto Mountain where a project employs women from the area to turn them into beautiful jewellery. The ultimate goal is to provide employment for all the women in that area of Entoto.
These women skilfully create beautiful jewellery in a loving, community environment, and what was once intended for harm now brings hope and life. The majority of women employed by the Entoto project are HIV positive. Their mission is to create fair-wage employment opportunities for under-privileged women - helping to curb discrimination and provide women with a sustainable living.
Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation orders enough stock to keep at least five women in full-time employment at all times. There are more than 150 women on the production team and 40 staff.
You can explore our up-cycled ‘Bullets to Beads’ jewellery range here.