We've got a serious case of potty mouth going on over here at Lucy & Jo and when you're done reading, we're pretty sure you will too. Why? Because all through February we're donating 10% of every sale on our website to The Myende Hygiene Project in Uganda.
Can I get a 'bleep, yeah!'
Let's Talk Toilets
Myende is a small island on Lake Victoria, a one hour boat ride from the mainland of Uganda. This small community of 300 families subsists mainly on fishing and live without electricity, running water and...you got it...toilets.
On approach to Myende Island
It wasn't until our most recent visit in May 2016 (to meet with our artisan partners), that we discovered the entire community was living without this most basic necessity. Access to a bathroom is something we take for granted and rarely give a second thought (unless we're on a long road trip & between rest stops). Aside from the obvious humane reasons for needing a toilet, not having access can have devastating health consequences.
When we got back to the U.S., our co-founder, Amy (aka Lucy), started telling everyone she talked to - "this is about dignity!" - she was a real hit at parties...but then one day, someone listened.
A Champion of Dignity
Enter Nancy Merrick, doctor, author, former chimpanzee researcher, life long do-gooder and friend of Jane Goodall, the renowned conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace.
Nancy and her family with Dr. Jane Goodall and researcher at Gombe National Park, Tanzania
Nancy first traveled to Uganda in 2008 and actually visited Myende so when she learned of the toilet situation and that it could be solved for $7,300 she knew she could make it happen. The Myende Hygiene Project was born.
With an initial grant from the Born Free Foundation of $2,300, Nancy then turned to her church. When she asked the Church of the Foothills in Ventura, CA for a $500 donation, they were so overwhelmed by the story, they gave $2,450. Nancy and friends have been giving talks and hosting dinners to raise the rest.
She has $2,100 to go...
Share the Love
Last year was our first year in business and we pledged to return 100% of every sale of our Myende-madeproducts directly back to Myende. Their products included paper bead bracelets, paper bead garland and the lovely drawstring bags your jewelry arrives in. Thanks to you and your purchases in 2016, we are contributing $300 to The Myende Hygiene Project, bringing their total need down to $1,800.
Amy with Regina & Ruth, two of the artisans on Myende, showing off their paper bead garland.
But we're not finished! This year, in celebration of Valentine's Day, we've decided to share the love all month long and donate 10% of EVERY sale to The Myende Hygiene Project.
Can I get another 'bleep, yeah!'
See, sometimes it really is OK to be a potty mouth! Get shopping and join our mailing list to stay updated on the project. Nancy and friends are headed to Uganda in June to build 8 stalls, 2 bathing rooms and facilitate a hygiene education program for the children. It's going to be amazing!
During our May 2016 visit we brought school supplied & lollipops to the children of Myende.