I saw their faces. I experienced their smile. I remember their stories – that’s why I keep selling Jinja Jewelry beads for the Hope Institute of Uganda. It has been an honor to partner with Joy and Gideon Ngobi who have made it their mission to bring help and hope to people living in poverty in their homeland.
I first met Joy at Sky Lodge Family Camp in Wisconsin. Her joyful spirit and the beads she brought to sell captured my attention. To think that such beauty could come from discarded paper was fascinating to me. When I learned that Joy was selling the jewelry for women in Uganda so they could take care of their families and send their children to school, I was eager to help.
I began selling Jinja Jewelry in 2010. One month later, I started a fair trade business in Greenville, IL, called Roots-n-Streams (Gifts With Purpose). Getting to know Joy and travelling with her to Uganda to meet the bead makers has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. It has been a delight to share pictures and stories with others when I go out to sell in a variety of locations and speak to groups of all ages. Having this beautifully illustrated book, with a story that touches your heart, inspires me to keep making connections and sharing with others. As you read, may you be encouraged to consider how recycled paper and a simple sale can change a life.
Root-n-Streams (Gifts WIth Purpose), Director
Greenville, Free MEthodist Church – Greenville, IL.
About the Creators of this Book:
After seeing Jinja Jewelry at a craft show and falling in love with it, Jean Olson (project coordinator) volunteered to sell Jinja Jewelry and also visited Uganda and the children HIU supports. Jean is from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and enjoys spending as much time as possible being a grandma to her four beautiful granddaughters: Taylor, Haley, Emily and Sarah. She is married to Chuck Ashe who graciously supports her in her quest to help her Uganda friends.
Joy Ngobi (founder) was born and raised in Uganda but currentely lives in Janesville, Wisconsin where she works as a staff anesthesiologist for Mercy Hospital. She is married to Gideon Ngobi and together they are raising three rumbunctious sons: Jeremiah, Jacob and Joshua. Joy enjoys meeting new friends and believes this book is a testimony for her love for people.
Sarah Miner (writer) is a college student attending the University of North Carolina Wilmington, working toward attaining a B.F.A. in Creative Writing. When she isn’t writing or reading, she enjoys spending time in the outdoors and playing with her dogs. She feels very privileged to have been an integral part in spreading the joy and message of the Hope Institute of Uganda.
Sara Lynn Sanders (illustrator) is a mother of three, Laurel, James and Jason; a grandmother of three, Amanda, Brianna and Mitchell James; and a great-grandmother of Eli; as well as an illustrator and an author. She loves being able to support such a good cause and believes the education of these young men and women is a blessing in a world of struggle.
A Special Thank You to:
Sarah Miner for the original idea of the story and author of the initial drafts.
Sara Lynn Sanders for the beautiful illustrations.
Joy and Gideon Ngobi for their support and input.
The mentors and third grade children of Stuart Place School’s Host program in Harlingen, TX for reading and providing input on the narrative.
Rose Manasseh, Ben and Venus Waiswa, and Sally Brandt for taking photos and joining me as models for the illustrations.
Jean Olson Project Coordinator