O Bracelet
Photo: Jens Mortensen
Does anyone really need another bracelet? Just for a moment, muzzle that little voice in your head. Pondering the appeal of crystalline pom-poms versus the purple crush of amethyst, or where exactly one might wear spiky, black-tie garnets, seems a bit self-indulgent when people are starving in Africa. Which is why these O Bracelets are such gems: Each one is made by those very people—women in Rwanda, to be specific—who are no longer starving, thanks to the wages they're paid for beading them.

If you bought one of our first O Bracelets featured in the May 2007 issue, you made a real difference, according to a study just completed by African Rights, an independent organization that documents abuses throughout the continent. Among 30 of our beaders, for example, 73 percent reported that before the project they went to bed hungry at least once a week—some not eating for three days at a stretch—but now enjoy regular daily meals, more nutritious ones, too (vegetables, fruit, milk), without which AIDS sufferers (at least 20 percent of the group) often can't tolerate or absorb their drugs. And among the 119 children being raised by these 30 women, 67 who would have been unable to afford school are enrolled today.

In other words, you really can lend a hand by adorning your wrist—or someone else's. So have a look.

See the December 2007 O Bracelets, and find out how they were made