Zuri Styles begins with a single mom in Uganda. She and her two small kids lived in a garage with a dirt floor, which was more mud than dirt. This situation was making her children sick, and providing bare necessities seemed impossible.
One day, in 2010, while I was working in my office in Uganda, this lovely young lady approached me. Reaching into her bag, she revealed a bundle of charming handmade jewelry. With a hopeful look, she stared at the product in her hands and pleaded, “Can you please help me sell these to your colleagues and friends?”
She risked me taking the jewelry, selling it, and never giving her the return. I asked her why she would put her trust in me. She replied, “This shows you how desperate I am. I have kids to feed, clothe, and provide for. I am looking for a way out.”
In Uganda, a woman stricken with poverty is a prime target for human trade. This step of faith was her last hope to escape the grip of slavery. I agreed to help her, not knowing the extent of her plight. For several years we partnered together. She made the jewelry; I would sell her products and then return to her 100% of the sales.
A couple of years later, my family had the opportunity to relocate to the United States. I continued to sell the jewelry from my new friend in Uganda, but God placed a call on my heart to help even more vulnerable women.
After a return visit to Uganda, I brought home a lovely collection of handmade products, and Zuri Styles was born.
Isaiah 51:3 says, “provide for those who grieve in Zion, bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…”
At Zuri Style, we believe that God has called each one of us to reach the grieving. To comfort those who suffer hardship. To protect the defenseless and equip them with tools to overcome.
Our mission is to help restore and transform women in desperate situations. First, we work side-by-side with at-risk women in Uganda. Teaching them to craft beautiful products made from locally sourced materials. Then we nurture them by continually sharing the hope and joy found in Jesus.
Our vision is to build a training center in Uganda, where vulnerable women can go to learn skills that will empower and enable them to provide for their families. This vision will all be made possible through fundraising and support from generous people, like you, who want to make a difference in the lives of these single moms.
Not only do we train women in trade skills, but we also raise money to send younger women to school. In Uganda most of the burden of the family falls to the women. Educating her will give her a better chance to provide for her family and reduce the risk of being sought by human traffickers.
Remember, my friend with the jewelry? Her faith led her to take a big step, and God made a way when there seemed to be no way. She has moved out of the muddy garage, built a house, and is now training, inspiring, and equipping other vulnerable women with the skills to do the same.