One Special Story of Giving - Gifts That Give Back: Akawelle Jewelry

December 21, 2009

Since Christmas is right around the corner, I thought it apropo to share with you a story that I think is very inspirational.  It comes to you via O Magazine's December issue, the article entitled "12 Stories of Giving."  One story in particular really stuck with me.  It's about a young girl named Lovetta Conto.

Lovetta was born in Liberia, West Africa, during the middle of a civil war.  As a result of the strife in her country, she and her father fled to Ghana where they lived in a refugee camp for many years.  Amazingly, despite her dire circumstances, Lovetta always believed there was something bigger, better and more beautiful than the world she was relegated to growing up in.

Her penchant for fashion and jewelry led her to design a very unique necklace, the "Akawelle" necklace.  The word Akawelle is a combination of aka for "also known as" and wel'le which means "love" in Kpelle, Lovetta's tribal language.  The necklace features two charms, or beads if you will, fashioned out of bullets once used in her country's war.  One is a leaf pendant made from the bullet shell, while the other bead is the actual bottom of the shell itself.  The leaf bears the inscription "Life".  She says she chose that word as an indicator to all that "[n]ew life can begin after hardship..."

Her endeavors are sponsored by the Strongheart Fellowship, which you can learn all about by going to her website, A 24" sterling silver ball chain necklace goes for $130.  At first glance the price might seem steep.  But a portion of the proceeds goes to help people like Lovetta realize their dreams of a better life.  Kind of makes it all worth it.     

Fa la la la la la la la la..............

"The world breaks us all and after some are stronger in the broken places."
-Ernest Hemingway

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