Friday, July 29, 2016

Inspired Beaders: The Thembalethu Beaders

Today my guest is Adam Jordan, co-founder of the Thembalethu Beaders project of South Africa. Supported by gorgeous beadwork designs, and founded by Thuli Dumakude, their mission is to “Increase global awareness about the economic, education, health and political inequities undermining the magnitude of women and children and produce sustainable, dignified and liberating opportunities for women and children.”

Thembalethu Beaders Jewelry

Inspirational Beading: How did the Thembalethu Beaders project begin?

Adam: Thembalethu Beaders was born in the pursuit of a meaningful contribution towards the rising levels of unemployment in the rural communities. We further recognise that training and education would serve no meaningful purpose unless it is linked to job creation – and to ensure the success of any such initiative, it is imperative that all of this becomes self sustainable.

Inspirational Beading: What are the most popular materials or colors for the beaders to use?

Adam: Most popular materials are loose glass beads, and the popular colors are [green, red, yellow, blue, orange, white, and black].

Seed Beads Used by Thembalethu Beaders

Inspirational Beading: How has the project affected the community so far? What’s on the horizon?

Adam: The concept of Thembalethu is based on a holistic approach and a new philosophy towards people, training, development, empowerment and business. Thembalethu believes that an innovative and creative approach to the numerous challenges we are facing in South Africa, will unleash great opportunities for those rural women with the ability to rid themselves of the limiting beliefs of the past.

The result is an income generating community of rural women. These ladies, who generally meet in groups for their beading activities, are able to talk to each other and in this way, are developing solutions around the various issues on HIV and AIDS which impact on them. Several of these include AIDS orphans resulting in children raising children [and] grandmothers left to feed and care for their grandchildren.

You can learn more about the project, and see many more designs at


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