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Theresa Sivori

Theresa Caroline Sivori, a seventh grader at St. George Episcopal School, knows that teenagers love jewelry. She volunteers with the Beads for Life Organization, which is a program that helps the women of Uganda make money by selling beads.

The women of Uganda live on only $1 a day. Because of the extreme poverty in the African country, Sivori became passionate about the Beads for Life Organization. She wanted to sell the beads that these women produced to help raise funds for their living expenses.

“I thought that since so many of my friends buy jewelry for much more money, they (could) buy these beads knowing that not only are they pretty, but they could help others too,” says Sivori.

Sivori sold necklaces, earrings and bracelets ranging from $5 to $15 and raised more than $700. She went from class to class selling beads to students and teachers. The beads come in different colors and are made
from recycled paper. She enjoys volunteering for thisorganization because it allows her to help the people of Uganda help themselves.

“Some people might buy the beautiful gold bracelet or diamond earrings. Think about how much beaded jewelry you could buy with that kind of money,” says Sivori. “We are so lucky in the United States, especially at my school, to have so much. Perhaps by selling the beads, I appreciate what I have more.”

While Sivori is saddened by the level of poverty there, she’s happy to contribute even a little bit to help the families of Uganda. “I just get a good feeling when doing good for others, and helping them … It is good that these women aren’t settling for that. They want more for themselves and their families,” says Sivori.

Sivori wants the people of New Orleans to know how fortunate they are. In Africa, some kids have to do homework on dirt floors because they don’t have tables and chairs. Missing these basic needs is tough on families and the community, she says. The women who design the different pieces of jewelry for these beads are trying to bring happiness to Uganda.

Sivori likes climbing, being outdoors and collecting. In the future she wants to become a science teacher because she believes that teachers are great helpers for their students; she also is considering becoming a lawyer because she would like to be able to give a voice to others.
 

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