Believe it or not, the metal that make up these earrings, bracelets and necklaces were once bullet casings and other forms of scrap metal salvaged a former conflict area. The metal is collected, turned into beads and made into beautiful jewelry by an organization that employs mainly HIV+ women.
The Entoto Mountain Region, outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has an interesting history. The area was known to have a spring of holy water, rumored to cure those who trekked to it of HIV. However, the "cure" seemed to come in a unique way, as organizations and even the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, started providing and encouraging these displaced people to begin taking antiretrovirals. As the people became healthier, a local church began enterprises to employ them and the Entoto jewelry program began. This Wall Street Journal article, does a great job of telling the story if you'd like to hear a little more in detail.
Now, the jewelry has expanded outside of the Entoto region. When Jason and I were in Ethiopia last spring, we got to visit their workshop in Addis Ababa where many HIV+ women happily sit side by side chatting and expertly stringing beads together into beautiful creations.
Here are a few of my favorite! All available at karamagifts.com.