Empowerment

The Trust supports the local Maasai women by providing them vocational training and by supporting their small business initiatives.

We have several times supported the Maasai Rarianda Women Group and their beading and beehive projects by funding materials, designs, training, workshop facilities and most importantly access to customers.
    

                                                                                                                          Click on the above picture to see more bead work.        

   
The Maasai Rianda women beading project

The beading project started in late 2014 when 32 women from Mararianta established the Maasai Rianda Women Group, a community-based organization.

The pieces of bead work created by the women are of traditional Maasai and Western design or are a combination of the two elements. The pieces include jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets, and ear rings as well as such items as belts, dog collars, and key chains. The women receive guidance on designs from visiting instructors, financed by the Trust.

The workshop (donated by the Trust) is located on the Karen Blixen Camp grounds, which can be visited by guests of the camp. An in-camp Trust representative discusses with guests the significance of individual designs as well as the beading program overall.  The finished products are for sale in the tent workroom and in the camp store. Each piece has identification and background of the woman who produced the piece, which ensures payment to the woman who created the item.

The bead work created by Maasai women has a rich and unique history within its culture. It is, however, in danger of disappearing as modern lifestyle changes have affected the lives of the Maasai community.

The Maasai Rianda Women Group has started collecting heritage pieces of traditional Maasai jewelry to retain traditional methods designing and making the jewelry. These artefacts are displayed in a permanent exhibition in the camp workshop. In addition to gaining inspiration from the heritage jewelrythe women can share  legends and stories pertaining to the jewelry and a Maasai women’s life to camp guests.

 

    

 

You can support the women

The number of women involved in the beading program is increasing and the size of the group has outgrown the tent in which they work.  Funds may be donated to build a larger and more permanent structure in the camp for the beading program. The design for the new workshop integrates Maasai cultural and traditional characteristics.

 

    

Click on the above picture and watch film about the bead women.                                                                              Click the above picture to see more pictures.

The Women Group has opened their own business facebook page. You can follow them here