On Thankfulness


If you’ve been reading Oaxacaborn for any length of time, you know that I haven’t lived in the US my whole life. (I mean, you should know that just from reading the title of this blog, right?) Well, I really believe that everyone should travel abroad at least once in their life. (And sorry, I don’t quite mean to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, although I’m sure it’s a lovely vacation ;-)

Spending two weeks outside of the US has a way of altering one’s perspective in ways that are truly life changing. Necessities like toilet paper, clean water? We don’t give them a second thought, but they aren’t a given everywhere in the world. And those little conveniences like Ziploc bags and breakfast cereal — you know, those things which annoy us if we forget to pick them up at the grocery store — well, those are unheard-of in so many places.

I’m not trying to be holier than thou, or say we should feel guilty for what we have. I just think it’s super important to be aware that we have so much more than most of the world. I need the reminder myself just as much as anyone.

And so, since it’s Nakate fundraiser week here on the blog (just $491 more to go!), I wanted to share some photos my dear friend Shanley took last time she was in Uganda. I don’t know about you, but I instantly feel more thankful just by looking at these.

On the ground in Kakooge, Uganda with Nakate Project

On the ground in Kakooge, Uganda with Nakate Project

On the ground in Kakooge, Uganda with Nakate Project

On the ground in Kakooge, Uganda with Nakate Project

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Update on Nakate Project’s Tipping Bucket Campaign


THANK YOU to each of you who’ve donated to the Nakate Project’s Tipping Bucket campaign so far this week! (More about the fundraiser – including the feathered earring giveaway — here.)

Uganda Nakate Project FundraiserI just wanted to remind you there are just two days left in the campaign. If the $2,000 goal isn’t reached by Friday night, all the money is returned to the donors, and none goes to Uganda.

If you gave earlier in the week with Ugandan women like Agnes on your heart, won’t you consider giving another dollar or so for girls like Cossy? And if not for her, for the girls in your life?

Nakate Fundraiser — and Feathered Earring Giveaway!


This week, my favorite social enterprise Nakate will be raising $2,000 for a group of women and their families in Uganda. Nakate is an enterprise by nature, and usually makes their money to send back to Uganda through selling handmade goods from Kakooge, Uganda. But this week is different. This week, they are directly raising funds to wire back to the women they work with to boost their income in time for school fees, the rainy season and a nearby medical clinic that many of them are traveling to this week. The fundraiser is focused on 40 families, and giving them a break and a much needed financial boost during a hard time of the year.

Founder Shanley Knox writes, “The goal of this fundraiser is to be able to give 100% of these funds to 40 families in Kakooge, Uganda. We are not paying ourselves. We are not spending any of this money to grow our organization. We are sending it all to Uganda.”

The Tipping Bucket - Agnes - Nakate Fundraiser
Here at the Oaxacaborn blog we’re focusing on Agnes’ sponsorship (in the photo above, she’s on the left). $300 of this fundraiser will go directly to her. She is working to oversee all the women in the bead project, and only accepted money after her husband lost his job. She also helps run a school for impoverished children in her village, and takes care of finding out who needs sponsorships in her village, and taking care that they get them. She and her husband gave up their jobs and moved to the poorest part of their village to be with the people they felt needed them – even some of Agnes’ friends wouldn’t come visit her there. They now live in a little bit of a “nicer” area, but she still works constantly to take care of the needy in her village. Without Agnes, there would be no Nakate Project. She knows the need and hardship of every person in her village and visits them regularly. She is also in charge of record keeping, distribution and necklace orders, as well as deciding who comes into the project.

You can donate to the fundraiser through The Tipping Bucket. The catch is that Nakate has to meet their goal in order to get this money. The way Tipping Bucket works, organizations only get their funding if they are able to reach their targeted amount during a scheduled amount of time. The Tipping Bucket is based on the belief that every single dollar helps, so hurry over and donate your dollar right now!

And oh yes, those feathered earrings. ;-) To enter the giveaway for these fabulous earrings, please join me in giving at least $1 to Agnes. After you donate, click on the photo below to go to Nakate’s Facebook page. Leave a comment telling them why you donated, and you’ll be entered to win! (Of course, you’re also free to donate without entering the giveaway.)

The Tipping Bucket - Nakate FUndraiser - Speckled Feather Earrings Giveaway

the nakate project


Portrait from the ground in Uganda - Woman and daughter supported by the microfinance initiative Nakate Project

if you’ve followed my blog (or my twitter feed) at all in the last few months, you’ve heard me talk about the nakate project. this initiative  supports women in uganda by selling handmade necklaces in the united states, and then wiring the money back to the women.

i’m really excited about this project. it’s barely off the ground and already has gotten some great exposure. one of the co-founders, shanley knox, was recently interviewed by women’s view on news, where jo webb writes, “Her marketing and branding is unashamedly high-end; gorgeous models, highly professional photography and trendy artwork are used to sell the beads, whether through the online shop, via small boutiques or through hosted parties.”

the stunning photography associated with the nakate brand is popping up all over the web. nakate was recently spotted in the canadian hairdresser magazine (see below), and is slated to make an appearance in gladys magazine‘s summer travel issue as well.

nakate in canadian hairdresser magazine

i can’t wait to see that summer issue, as something tells me it’ll coincide with the launch of nakate’s brand new summer line. (here’s a BRIGHT sneak peek at the new colors!)

since the nakate team doesn’t make any money off the sale of the necklaces, there’s a fundraising campaign underway to raise money for traveling to africa and other costs associated with running the project. just $30 will make a huge difference. find out more.

  • donate to the fundraising campaign
  • like the nakate project on facebook
  • follow the nakate project on twitter
  • visit the nakate project website

first image: shanley knox
second image: canadian hairdresser magazine

you are invited to Nakate’s little black dress party


alright, my socal guys and gals. looking for something fab to do on saturday night (march 19th)? something which involves noshing on hors d’œuvres, getting in on some photo booth action and grooving to some live music, maybe? all while mingling with pretty girls in little black dresses? well, you’re in luck!  my friend shanley wants to invite you all to a LITTLE BLACK DRESS PARTY in sherman oaks, held in honor of Nakate! (see that jewelry on the model below? Nakate is a non-profit which supports women in east africa through the sale of that handmade jewelry! you’ll have a chance to get your hands on some at the party).
Yordanos Akalu modeling Nakate Jewelry - photo by Barry Druxman.

go for me. pretty please?

Photo: Barry Druxman
Model: Yordanos Akalu
Make-up: Ernesto M Casillas
Hair: Mitzi Spallas
Art Director: Antonio Esteban

the Nakate Project: handmade jewelry brings sustainable aid to the women of East Africa


the Nakate Project - a sustainable microfinance venture selling handmade jewelry to support women with AIDS in Uganda, East Africa

image via the Nakate Project

Hello, Monday! I’m sitting here drinking a [decaf] mocha while I do a little web editing. Over Christmas break, my dear friend Shanley Knox and I revamped the Align Ministries’ homepage to include her fabulous photography of Uganda, and now I’m just working on a couple of minor touches to one of the interior pages.

I have told you about Shanley, right? Allow me to brag a little. A (very busy) recent graduate, this amazing girl is a passionate humanitarian/world traveler/photographer and manages social media for multiple organizations. At the moment, she’s launching an incredible non-profit, the Nakate Project.  This sustainable microfinance venture sells jewelry handmade by women in Uganda, and returns the profits to the women to help them in their businesses.

From the website:

The women of Eastern Uganda are living in a dead market. Where there are wares, there are seldom customers to buy them. Where there are customers , vendors often struggle with debilitating AIDS and malaria that keeps them from continuing work.

The necklaces we sell are providing a global market for products that remain unsold in a local stagnant market.

Amazing, right? I bought a gorgeous Nakate necklace last week and think you all should do the same. ;-) For more information, connect with Nakate via their site, Twitter, Facebook, or shop.

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