Our story begins with one courageous woman in 2004. In a chance encounter, our founders met Millie Grace Akena while walking through a Ugandan slum. Millie sat outside of her mud home, rolling beads from strips of paper under the sweltering sun, when Devin Hibbard, Ginny Jordan and Torkin Wakefield stopped to talk with her. Though she struggled to put food on the table, Millie found joy in creating beautiful things with her own hands, and she was determined to build a better future for her family.
For 15 years, women around the world have been connecting through love and empowerment, growing a social enterprise to educate and raise funds to support women’s entrepreneurship training to transform lives.
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Beauty for Ashes Uganda works towards long-term sustainable development and deep healing for single moms and widows in the Teso Region of Uganda.
We do this through mutually transformative relationships and empowerment that provides resources and tools necessary for change.
1,183 mamas in Uganda are a part of the BFAU family along with their 6,500+ kiddos across 32 villages in 38 women’s cooperatives
Supporting Opportunities for Ugandans to Learn (S.O.U.L.) Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Brooke Stern and her father, Kenneth Stern in the Bujugali Falls region of Uganda. S.O.U.L.’s mission is to foster sustainable and vibrant Ugandan communities through unique partnerships focused on education, women’s empowerment, food security, and maternal health.
Shortly after finishing nursing school in 2009, Brooke and her father, Kenneth Stern, set out on a backpacking trip through Eastern Africa. After spending just five days in poverty-stricken Bujagali Falls, Brooke’s idea of creating a not-for-profit foundation devoted to helping the impoverished Ugandan community began to take shape. In reflecting on her first visit to Uganda, Brooke states, “In the village, we saw hunger but we also saw thirst: thirst for knowledge, thirst for a better tomorrow, thirst for the opportunity to lift themselves out of gripping poverty.”
Brooke returned to Uganda one month after her initial life-changing visit. She immersed herself in the culture and community for 13 months. Like her village neighbors, she lived without electricity, hot water or the comforts of modern society. She devoted this first year to listening to and learning from the villagers before she realized that the most effective S.O.U.L.ution for the community would involve a focus on accessibility to education. It was shortly after that S.O.U.L. Foundation was born.