The more I've thought about the first mission and shadowing a hero - the more I've thought about James Pearson.
James created Acholi Beads
- a "business done right" - in order to bring sustainable income to the women affected by war-torn n. Uganda. Before working with James, these women spent their days in the rock quarries, beating the stones into gravel. Incredibly dangerous, most women would skate by with about a dollar a day in payment.
(Picture from Acholi Beads blog)
Now, these women are able to gain income through something they already do - bead making. And they're beautiful! These women create these beads through recycled paper and stringing them together to make a necklace, bracelet or pair of earrings. James has taken a skill already there and given these women an opportunity for a better life through collaboration. Because of this opportunity, women now know the skills of investing, design, collaboration, and really harnessing their creativity. And the beads are gorgeous!
(Picture by Blanche Jacobson)
Not only has James started Acholi Beads, but he's also spearheaded initiatives like wikichoice
and Choice Mob
. Both geared towards fair trade and sustainable living. James knows sometimes we reach for what is familiar simply because we don't know where it comes from or that other options are available. He created his wiki to pull people together and work for the common good - finding products ethically sound so others can spread the word. Choice Mob gives people the option to on one day, choose
the better option - and just like anything - people will notice. In December it was buying textbooks, literature and guides through Better World Books instead of Amazon or Borders. Thousands participated.
If any of you are still looking for a hero to shadow - James is perfect. He's on twitter - (@jamesapearson) facebook and definitely accessible. I've sent him ideas in the past and he's worked with me to develop and fine-tune what it is I truly want to do. Just thought I'd share...I'm pretty proud of my friends, and James is someone I wish everyone could meet.