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This 20-Something Changemaker Gives Hope to African Women

Good is…offering moms a hand-up from poverty. So at age 17 Badala founder Joelle McNamara set out to give the women of Kenya a future through job training and sustainable employment. This year, Badala will graduate its first class of graduates, educated through the sales of Badala’s artisan-made goods. Here Joelle shares the story behind her effort and why doing good never gets old.

WHATS THE GOOD STORY OF YOUR BUSINESS?
In 2008, I travelled to Kenya to see the extreme poverty first hand and I became friends with kids who had no homes and widows who were forced into prostitution to feed their families. They weren’t asking for handouts, but a hand-up, so we created a brand that would employ women and use the profits to provide scholarships.

FILL IN THE BLANK: GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN…
You do what you were made to do!

HOW DO YOU CREATE IMPACT?
Sustainable employment gives our craftswomen the space to start dreaming again. We help them save money and give them money to start their own businesses. I’m so excited to have our first class of graduates this summer who will be leaving Badala and creating change in their own communities.

WHATS ONE GOOD THING YOUVE FOUND LATELY?
I recently visited a fifth grade class to thank them for raising money to send three orphans to school. Propelled by a love for kids they’ve never met, they asked if they could raise more money. Their generous hearts were beautiful and so good.