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Nonprofit Friend: Akola Project


Akola Project is a nonprofit with a mission-driven jewelry business that empowers women to uplift their families out of poverty. Seeing a pressing need at home and abroad to empower women—whose potential to become strong caretakers and community leaders has been unrealized due to their marginalized status—Akola provides approximately 450 women in Uganda and Dallas with the training, work, and holistic programs to transform the well-being of almost 4,000 dependents and 9 communities.

After spending a summer in Uganda in 2004, Brittany Merrill Underwood founded an organization to build an orphanage in 2006. Once the orphanage was complete in 2007, Brittany launched the Akola Project in efforts to revive the livelihood of women and their families through economic development.

The Akola Project spends years training women, who would otherwise have no opportunities, to become artisans of jewelry and accessory design. Through this effort, poverty-stricken women in rural Ugandan villages are able to support themselves and their dependents—transforming each individual life. In Uganda, Akola members are challenged by factors such as rural poverty, decades of civil war, HIV/AIDS, and gender inequality, while Dallas members struggle to integrate into the mainstream workforce due to former experiences such as sex-trafficking and incarceration. Akola offers the training, work opportunity, and support system that empower the women to rise above poverty and create sustainable change for their children and within their communities. By investing in the whole woman, not just her economic livelihood, Akola enacts a ripple effect that can break the cycle of poverty for an entire family.

We are proud to announce that since our last feature, Akola has begun construction on a third academy, located in eastern Uganda.

We would like to partner with you, our customer, in an effort to provide necessary resources for Akola Project to continue their endeavors. On January 10, 2016, Wisteria will Give 10% of your entire purchase to Akola Project and you will Get 10% off your purchase. Use promo code AKOLA2016 at checkout. Help out!

To learn more or make a donation of your own, visit

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