BADALA: An Encouraging Difference

Chances are good that you have never heard of BADALA, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have. BADALA could very well be the most refreshing and encouraging difference being made in the lives of Africans that I have ever had the pleasure to discover.

BADALA is a company started by the highly motivated and driven Joelle McNamara. She started BADALA when she was only 17 years old, and by the time she graduated high school, the mere idea of BADALA was already a non-for-profit working to create change in the lives of children and widows across Nairobi, Kenya, and Rwanda. To quote the BADALA website:

“In Africa, when a woman is divorced or widowed and left with children, she has few options. Her avenues for income are often insufficient and socially unacceptable. Many women are forced to re-marry quickly, steal, prostitute themselves, or become beggars. Our microeconomic program seeks to provide an alternative to these methods of income to single mothers in impoverished communities by training and hiring them to make fair trade items.”

BADALA, which stands for “instead” in Swahili, is creating opportunities for these women to release themselves from the prisons of their circumstance. To quote Joelle McNamara, “BADALA is giving these women opportunities ‘instead’ of prostitution, begging, abuse, etc.” At only 24 years young, Joelle and her team are doing much more than your average philanthropist. They are acting on all the thoughts that have run through our minds:

“People are dying by the millions just because they don’t have enough to eat. Half the world’s children are sick because they don’t have access to clean water.”

The difference between us and Joelle is that Joelle knew that even one person is capable of changing lives half-way across the world. Joelle is truly a one of a kind visionary that doesn’t come around every day. With the BADALA team working towards real change in Africa, and the results being clearly seen with updates and increased inventory for the website, Joelle and the BADALA team give real motivation for other dreamers who hope to create real change in the world, but feel that they are just one person.

Joelle travels to Africa with her husband Corey, more frequently than most, to exercise her devotion and true passion for the cause. This month she traveled to Nairobi & Tanzania and will be there, working with the women of BADALA.

You can join BADALA and make a true difference by donating to the cause here: You can also learn more about BADALA’s cause and what they are about at their website: also check out the merchandise that the women in Africa are making here:

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