Safina's Story

Safina Nakanwagi

Safina Nakanwagi is a full-time bead maker. She treasures her life, values her good fortune and works relentlessly at fulfilling her goals. She credits the Namugongo Good Samaritan Project for her positive outlook on life. It wasn't always this way.

Safina Nakanwagi is a 40 year-old HIV positive widow. She grew up in a home with two mothers and seven siblings. Married at 16 to an abusive man, Safina's life became even tougher when he took another wife. Although her optimism for a happier life motivated her, the marriage never reached her expectations -- even after giving birth to seven children.

The period after her husband's death from AIDS in 2004 was the most devastating time of her life. His parents accused her of killing him in order to take his property and then threw her and her children out of their home. 

Uneducated, Safina reluctantly went to work at the stone quarries-a dangerous and unhealthy work. The workers eat one meal per day and are given very little water. They are only paid per truckload of crushed stones. Caring for infants and toddlers is nearly impossible.

Today she wants you to know:

“My beads are an expression of myself. They are beautiful and durable.
I carefully select different colors and focus on designing in a special and unique way.”
 
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