By Veronica Figueroa
Peachy Peachy, started by Erica McQueen Ho and her husband Calvin Ho, equips orphan girls in Uganda to fund their own education. On May 2011, Erica met a group of orphan girls in Kitabazzi, Uganda who had an incredible talent for crocheting and that gave her the idea for Peachy Peachy. In school they learn to sew and crochet accessories from their teacher, Ms. Sandy, then the items are sold here in the U.S.
“She [Sandy] visited the orphanage to help out for a week (a few years ago) and decided to buy a one-way ticket to Uganda shortly after that. Since then, she’s been involved in teaching the girls as part of their formal education,” Calvin said.
All the profits are sent back to the girls and they learn how to save, invest and give through their Life Skills Development classes. Each girl starts a savings account and they maintain it until they are ready to fund their college educations. Through this process, the girls will learn to provide for themselves. There are 15 girls and they are all around the age of 8-15.
“My wife and I have always been fascinated by these companies and organizations that have been popping up ever since TOMS shoes,” Calvin shared. “We never thought we would start anything of our own but my wife started visiting the orphanage and saw that they were making these accessories for nobody else but themselves. We understood that people [here in the States] would be attracted not by the items themselves, but the stories behind it.”
“Before, they would only make things for fun or to improve their skill. Now, they are excited that the things they make are valued by other people. This opens their minds to how they can commercialize things, not just their accessories. It opens up all kinds of possibilities for them and they feel their dreams can become a reality. In some ways, I would say that these girls are the Girl Scouts of Uganda,” Calvin concluded.