Holly first visited Pader in 2013 where she felt an immediate connection and call from God to help the women restart their lives after a 20 year war in Northern Uganda. The women had been making beads out of recycled calendar paper they found in town. Holly taught them to improve the quality of their work and add new designs and colors. Holly began traveling to Pader 3 times a year, bringing home the beautiful treasures she purchased to sell in the U.S. She began working with the women on investing at least a portion of their craft money into sustainable items such as chickens, pigs and goats.
In 2017, Holly converted the organization into a 501c3 nonprofit, The Women of Pader Uganda. Also during that year, Holly began a formal business training program for the women, teaching them basic business principles, including how to create and maintain a healthy and sustainable business based on the economic needs in Pader. After 6 months of training the women in 2017, the nonprofit began making micro loans. These are loans for small amounts to help women begin a business that is needed in the community thereby creating sustainable incomes for them. More women continue to be trained, loans continue to be made, and small businesses continue being developed by the women to sustain their families.
Holly’s mission is to raise up spiritual and business leaders, women who know Jesus as their Savior and realize each one is important and has a purpose to fulfill in life. The women have been growing in their discipleship and leadership skills as well as their personal spiritual walks with the Lord. The beads initially gave them a reason to come together, heal, and generate income; however, so much more fruit has resulted than merely making beads.