In 2006, Brittany Merrill founded the Ugandan American Partnership Organization (The UAPO) after traveling to the border of Congo and Uganda to teach at a boarding school. During her stay she met Sarah, a local woman who was caring for twenty-four children. Moved by Sarah’s faith and dedication, Brittany partnered with Sarah to build an orphanage home for her growing ministry. Since that time, the UAPO has initiated five development projects across Uganda including the building of two orphanage homes with the capacity to house over 200 needy children and drilled over 20 clean water wells.
In 2007, UAPO partnered with another strong woman of faith, Alice Dramundru. Alice lost her husband to AIDS and pledged to dedicate her life to helping women and children in need. She started to train woman on how to make a variety of crafts, including the paper necklaces of the Akola project to sell in the US and local Ugandan markets. Since 2007, over 200 Ugandan women have been empowered by the Akola Project and have generated over $250,000 to provide for their families and communities.
We are proud to partner with UAPO and the Akola Project to sell their unique handmade jewelry at our Dallas store, where we recently hosted a trunk show, and in our May 2012 catalog. Thank you to all who have been a part of this partnership and have taught me that we can all make a difference!