The necklaces in this collection were donated by Patrick Bacon, who heard of RISE through our petition to get a law against acid attacks on change.org. When RISE reached out to ask if anyone had crafting supplies or jewelry to donate, we received so many beautiful responses and donations. We were particularly touched by Patrick's email to us, letting us know that he wanted to donate necklaces (and some unused supplies) made by his late wife, Christine. The necklaces we received were beautiful and there were A LOT of them!
I appreciate and I know Chris would appreciate the opportunity to help the victims of these horrible and senseless crimes. I have great admiration and respect for all of them and all of you that are doing this compassionate, important work. Chris loved everyone unconditionally without exception and would be extremely happy that what she created will be helping them. - Patrick
As Patrick described in a later email, "My wife, Christine (Chris), was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease in 2004. Although for the most part she could still function normally, her failing memory interfered with her ability to do her job. She retired in late 2004 after 30 years of service as a teacher in the junior high and elementary grades in our local school district. She took some jewelry making classes and made some necklaces in the years after she retired, but eventually lost interest. When she was no longer able to drive, I retired in 2015 to take care of her full time. In 2018 she wanted to start making necklaces again and in a 20-month period with a little help from me, she made thousands of necklaces until she could no longer do it any more in early 2020. She died in 2022. Chris didn't sell any necklaces but gave quite a few of them to family and friends. One of her sisters went on vacation to Europe and was in a restaurant and was wearing a necklace my wife had given her when a complete stranger approached her and complimented the necklace. We joked that Chris's necklace had received international acclaim."
In discussing with Julie and Daniel how they could best make use of the necklaces, Julie suggested that we send some of them to Uganda and sell some of them in the US, as the proceeds we could make from the sale of the products in the US would exceed that in Uganda. After receiving Patrick's permission to sell some of Chris's products here, we started photographing her necklaces (and used the donated supplies to make a few matching earrings and bracelets.)
Julie and Daniel suggested that proceeds from the sale of Chris's necklaces will be used to pay for a five-year booth space for BTSI at Old Kampala Friday Craft Market. Julie has sold her products there personally for several years and has found it to be profitable. It is in a location with a lot of tourists (i.e. people who, unlike the average Ugandan, have money to spend on crafts.) A booth space for 5 years costs 1 million ugx (approximately $260.) BTSI will use this booth to sell products made by survivors and products donated to RISE, which means that the jewelry so many of you donated will be sold at this market! All proceeds will go towards BTSI, which will support programs such as microloans, craft skills training, and support for survivors in the hospital. Having an ongoing booth also serves as a great advertisement for their organization, helping them get the word out about the work they do.
Julie Bukirwa, co-director of Beyond the Scars Initiative in Uganda, enjoying some of Chris’s necklaces. The necklaces will be sold at old Kampala Friday market once BTSI can secure a booth space.