When Clay and Amy Churchill of Alpharetta, Georgia traveled with their family and the Wilde family to Kenya to volunteer at the Salem Orphanage two years ago, they found a mission field. They started the non-profit organization Just One: Africa to help orphans and widows lead self-sustaining lives by helping provide them with basic necessities: food, water, clothing, shelter and education.
One of their projects we at Nashville Wraps are excited about is their clean water program. They use our linen bags to package handmade recycled paper bracelets made by the Masai women. Each bracelet purchased provides 200,000 gallons of clean water.
Amy explains, “I went through several companies’ websites looking for the quality, look and price point we needed. We get so many compliments on these Nashville Wraps linen bags. It really helps make the sale since they are ready for gift giving. I’ve had women of all ages purchase them. We’ve gone into schools and sold them. Students really catch the vision and story of Just One: Africa!”
Their logo is stamped with a dark brown color that complements the natural look of the bags. Amy purchased the stamp on Etsy from Creatiate. She buys two bag sizes so they can package either one bracelet or several. The drawstring style secures the bracelets for shipping and gift giving.
1 Bracelet = 200,000 Gallons of Clean Water
The Masai women make the beads out of recycled paper to provide for their families. Just One: Africa buys the beads strung as necklaces. Once they arrive in the US, they are cleaned, cut apart and sorted by color. The holes are cleared for the bracelet making to begin, and they’re put together assembly-line style with volunteers. They use brass and copper spacers in between the beads until they’re strung together and tied up. They make children’s sizes, as well as adult small, medium and large sizes that stretch to easily slide over your wrist.
Tags are attached showing a picture of a woman they met in a village in Amboseli in southern Kenya, holding her child – a representation of just one of the many women who actually makes these beads. Bracelets sell for $15 or three for $40. Because their supply costs are so low, most of the money is profit and 100% of that money goes toward buying water filters for the same villages where the paper beads are made.
Cleaner Than U.S. Bottled Water!
Just One: Africa has sold hundreds of these bracelets, providing millions of gallons of clean water. They use Sawyer filters which are made in the USA. Each filter provides 1 million gallons without the arduous task of digging wells to see if there is a water source. The water is cleaner than bottled water in the US! It takes just five bracelets to cover the cost of one water filter.
Amy says, “When people look at the bracelets and I share the story of what each one provides, they can’t believe it and it becomes a no-brainer purchase. Not only does it support the families of the women who make them, but 100% of the profits provide clean water for their village and others!”
“I love to wear them in stacks of three and share the story with people. I tell them that I am wearing 600,000 gallons of clean water on my wrists!” Over 884 million people in the world don’t have access to safe water. More than 1.4 million children die every year from water-borne illnesses – one child every 20 seconds.
Just One: Africa currently has over 30 colors and sells the bracelets via Facebook and a local partner Sky Wash. They also custom make bracelets with school and college colors. They would love to get them into more boutiques and stores who are passionate about their mission.
Creating Sustainable Solutions
In addition to helping to provide clean water, Just One: Africa provides educational and vocational training, agricultural and livestock farming. The Widows Farming Project teaches the widows of Bondo, Kenya how to plant, cultivate and harvest their own food.
The Just One: Africa team leaves on June 17, 2014 to return to Kenya to work in several schools their orphans attend. They will be distributing 200 water filters which will provide 200 million gallons of clean water for 5,000 people for life!
If you’d like to purchase bracelets visit their online store here or if would like to carry the bracelets in your shop, you can email [email protected] for more info. To supply one water filter for $65, you can make a donation directly through their website.
Thank you Clay and Amy for all you do for the orphans and widows in Kenya. Nashville Wraps is grateful to be a small part. Please watch this short video.