Philanthropy Friday: 1000 Shillings


Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, pleasecontact Jennifer.

1000 Shillings is a Uganda-based start-up social enterprise that gives impoverished women artisans around the world an opportunity to sell their limited edition products to an international market.

The unique fair trade model used by 1000 Shillings also allows these talented women to earn capital to fund their own small businesses and lift their families out of poverty. They are paired with business mentors who help them start and sustain their businesses. In addition, the artisans are given a voice to share their story with customers.

According to the website, 1000 Shillings’ aim is “to connect people around the world through storytelling and high-quality artisan products.” Every piece on the website is unique to the website and in limited edition. The goal is to allow you to get to know the women behind their products. When you buy, you directly help the artisan and her family. And if that doesn’t make you feel good about a purchase, I don’t know what will.

Currently, 1000 Shillings is working with six single mothers – Aidah, Annette, Veronica, Esther, Martha and Elizabeth – in the Namatala slum of Mbale, Uganda, who create beautiful paper bead jewelry. The logo for 1000 Shillings is a crested crane, the national bird of Uganda, in honor of the beginnings of the company with these women.

Some of the handmade jewelry from the Ugandan Line.

In case you were wondering about the name of the company, 1000 Shillings represents the amount of money the average woman in the Namatala slum lives on per day – $0.40.

Sounds like a great place to do some holiday shopping, doesn’t it? Shop the Ugandan Line and take a moment to read the stories of the 6 artisans. They truly are amazing.

Who would you purchase a 1000 Shillings necklace for? 

I wrote this post as part of the Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of Mom Bloggers for Social Good members who focus on maternal health, children, hunger, and women and girls. 

Introducing the 2013 Writing Prompts & Editorial Calendar!

As National Blog Posting Month comes to a close (at least the November version anyway), it only seems fitting to reflect back on a month of daily writing.

Compared to last November, this year was a lot easier.

2013 writing prompts and editorial calendar

The 2013 Writing Prompts and Editorial Calendar is for anyone who writes on a regular basis.

Despite the fact that I’ve been blogging since 2007, I really feel like I found my voice by the end of NaBloPoMo last year. I wrote daily for the months of November and December and really got myself disciplined to the point where blogging was not as much of a chore anymore.

A big part of this transformation was planning. Knowing what I wanted to write about and when I wanted to write it. Timeliness counts in blogging, particularly if you are concerned with getting more people to read your blog.

The secret to my planning? I had a Word document where I would note upcoming days and months that celebrated things that interested me. Unusual holidays or awareness months that I might want to use as prompts to write a post, while also taking advantage of the fact that other people and organizations would be promoting similar thoughts and ideas. This helped me plan ahead for posts.

As I compiled these writing prompts by month, I realized that even if I didn’t want to use them, there are still various themes that come up when you look at what happens from month to month. Seasons, holidays, big sporting events, awareness campaigns, times of busyness or relaxation. They are cyclical.

Being aware of what is on the horizon helps me figure out what I want to write about now and in the future. I always have a few blog posts in my head now, and I fill in the blanks with the random things that come along and inspire me to write.

Content is easy to come up with when you let it come to you. So, I’m excited to launch my very first e-book that’s really more like an e-workbook. It’s my 2013 Writing Prompts and Editorial Calendar that delivers month by month ideas and resources to use for your blog posts, newsletter articles or whatever else you might be writing. You’ll also get a blank editorial calendar that you can use to plan posts ahead of time and/or document posts that you have written. It’s a great tool that you can use the entire year.

The e-workbook is designed to help you write more often, using timely content, in an organized manner. And you can get it for free when you sign up for my monthly newsletter.

Sign up, download the ebook, and let me know what you think. I hope it will help you come up with great content throughout 2013.

What’s your secret to coming up with regular blog content?