Bullets to Beauty - LiveHisLove
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Bullets to Beauty

THIS IS A STORY OF TRANSFORMATION. 
BULLETS ARE UGLY. COLD BRASS DESIGNED TO DESTROY. BUT THROUGH THE HEAT OF LOVE AND FIRE MYFIGHT IS CHANGING THAT. LITERALLY RESHAPING THE EVIL INTO SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL.

You see, Eritrea and Ethiopia were once a single country. The civil war that divided them began in the fall of 1974 and raged for nearly 17 years. When it ended in 1991 1.4 million people were dead. Only seven years passed before violence erupted again, lasting this time for two years, 300,000 people died. Today the highland border regions of Ethiopia and Eritrea are prone to outbreaks of skirmishes and westerners visiting the area have been kidnapped and killed in recent years. With reminders of the conflict still scattered across the Ethiopian highlands the healing process will be long and slow. 

Children minding their flocks and crops trek up and down the Simien Mountains of Northern Ethiopia collecting brass bullet shells from the wars, turning them into recyclers for a little money. Finding the casings in the grass and rocks where soldiers fought and died only decades ago. The brass is bought by other farmers who uses traditional methods to create beads from those bullet shells.  From their a group of women on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia buy those beads.  There, under Mount Entoto, women with HIV are employed to re-purpose the bullets into beautiful works of art. With jobs these women are able to buy medicine, send their children to school, improve their homes, invest in savings, start and grow new businesses, and ultimately transform their community. 


Bullets To Beauty represents in the most perfect way the union of consumerism and poverty-abolition. By wearing our Bullets To Beauty collection you are transforming something dark and ugly into something beautiful and life giving.  

 

Africa hosts about 15 percent of the world's population but in 2011 the continent buried 70% of all the world's AIDS deaths. The disease has wreaked havoc across the continent holding back progress by hurting the health sector and limiting the workforce. Ethiopia has a prevalence rate of 2.4% which means about 1.2 million people have the disease. 

Instances of HIV/AIDS are obviously not spread evenly. Mount Entoto is home to nearly 5000 individuals suffering from the disease. HIV has a strongly negative stigma in Ethiopia and many women are forced to leave their families and have no hope of finding employment. Desperation to survive leads the women to a life of begging for food and assistance. Often they make their way across the country to the mountain on the edge of the city.