Hello! If you’re just getting here, through the month of October I am writing about companies, businesses and individuals that seek to produce ethically made clothing and support local artisans in their communities to build their own businesses and learn new skills. Why am I telling this? So we can support them by changing the way we shop and make purchases. You can check out Day 1 here for more information!
As with every day of this challenge, I am so excited to introduce to you our featured company:
The Lulu Tree
The Lulu Tree was founded just this year (in June 2014) by blogger/author/speaker Emily Weirenga, who has a deep, deep heart for the plight of orphans in Uganda. Her mission? To help them, and their mothers, by equipping the mothers with the skills and resources necessary to caring for their families. The goal? To prevent the need for and despair of having to give up one’s child.
We also desire to give these mothers a voice, and to remind them of dreams perhaps gone dormant within them. Our goal is to raise up leaders amongst these women so they in turn can mentor others. ~ The LuLu Tree
Here is a small piece of Emily’s heart as she shares about how Lulu Tree came to be:
Our Father weeps. He anguishes over every single mother–because there are hundreds of thousands of them across Uganda in the same situation–who has to lose her child, who cannot take care of her children.
And He’s asking us to do something about it.
Sponsoring a child is good, don’t get me wrong. I sponsor as many children as I am able.
But standing there with this beautiful woman in her brown hat and her downcast gaze, her son’s eyes shining as he looked at me, I thought, No. Enough. There has to be more.
I want this son to look at his MOTHER with adoration, not me–a stranger.
I want him to look at HER to provide his needs, not me–an outsider who didn’t birth him without an epidural, who didn’t weep and pray over him every night of his childhood, who didn’t spend every minute of every day trying to earn enough money to buy him a bowl of Matoke (cooked banana) so he wouldn’t starve to death.
So, I went home and founded a non-profit called The Lulu Tree. I didn’t intend to found a non-profit. I didn’t–and still don’t–feel qualified to start one, I just wanted to partner with someone who was doing what I wanted to do. But no one was.
Our vision at The Lulu Tree is to work with HIV mothers in the slum of Katwe, Uganda (the worst of Kampala’s eight slums), equipping them to be care for their own kids. Our slogan is “Preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers.” Lofty, I know. But you have to dream big, right? Shoot for the moon and you’ll land somewhere among the stars?
(Read the rest of Emily’s story here.)
How is The Lulu Tree achieving these goals of equipping mothers and raising up leaders and mentors?
While help from the “outside” is always welcome, and almost always provides a life-changing experience for the ones bringing aid (funny, isn’t it, how we think we’ll be able to have the most impact by going into another person’s life, but rather God uses that situation and those people to impact us immensely!), The Lulu Tree is committed to hiring locals. Ugandan nationals, who work alongside their own people, bringing healing and hope to these mothers.
Esther Natakunda Tendo – Social worker. She has been called to free her people from captivity! Esther speaks several dialects, and is a strong believer in Jesus Christ. Her heart beats passionately for women and children suffering from AIDS, and it is her heart’s desire to help those who are impoverished find hope.
Carol Masaba – National coordinator for Lulu Tree and the African Evangelistic Enterprise in Uganda. She partners with churches across the country to bring the hope of Christ to various parts of the nation. She is in charge of hiring and mentoring Lulu staff and volunteers and overseeing the ministry as a whole.
(Read more about the Canadian and American board of advisors included on The Lulu Tree Team.)
How can I support the work The Lulu Tree is doing?
Christmas is coming folks! Yes, indeed, it’s coming soon. And The Lulu Tree Boutique is a fantastic place to start your Christmas shopping for your little ones.
The Lulu Tree Boutique is a marketplace for the precious mothers in the slums of Katwe, Uganda to sell their beautiful work through, once they’ve received training.
And it is beautiful work. These are just a few of the items you can purchase from The Lulu Tree Boutique!
(my daughter is getting one of these to survive our cold, cold winters! Comes in sizes baby to adult)
Or the Mylie Cloche
My other daughter has been eyeing my scarves lately – this one is for her!
Who wouldn’t love this adorable Casablanca Headband for all the family and friends Christmas gatherings?
Little Baker Apron set (and one for a doll too!)
Big Helper BBQ set for aspiring bbq-ers (that’s grillin’ in Canadian speak :D)
In addition to items for your littles, there are also hats, scarves and jewelry for the adults – something for everyone!
There are more ways than just shopping the items in The Lulu Tree Boutique for you to be the hands and feet of Christ and serve these mothers in Uganda.
- sponsor a Lulu Mama (go HERE for more info)
- donate via Paypal
- become a Lulu Tree Ambassador
- join our Acts 15 Encouragement Team
- join our Lulu Prayer Team
- make a Lulu Mama Kit (more details soon)
- buy Lulu Tree founder Emily Wierenga’s memoir, Atlas Girl. All profits benefit The Lulu Tree.
Follow LuLu Tree on Instagram
And since Christmas is coming, and I want to encourage you to get involved with Lulu Tree, I’m offering you an opportunity to get some Christmas shopping done and support these moms in Uganda.
Enter to win $35 to be used toward your purchase from The Lulu Tree Boutique.
Here’s how to enter!
This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. Entries will be verified. Giveaway closes Thursday, October 16 at midnight (EST).