Bead work is a social enterprise among the indigenous communities which is a sustainable alternative livelihood to generate income for their families.
Beading is the tribal art and talent among Maasai and Samburu communities, who have been famed for their adornment for centuries. Bead work is often an affordable way to add color, value and even sparkle to jewelry designs.
From the income generated, women are able to improve the lives of their families by providing clean water, boost their businesses, provide food and enabling children who previously could not afford to go to school, to start their education.
Through the generous support from American Jewish World Service, women got donations of beads and dignity kits. Indigenous women from Lenguruma, Narasha, Kawalash and Kililio communities based in Oldonyiro Ward, Isiolo North Sub- County benefited from this donation.
Due to the remote areas lived by these women and girls makes it even more difficult to access dignity kits. The few shops available are not easily accessible and also most girls cannot afford to purchase these items due to low income in their homes.
As the drought worsens in Northern Kenya, its effects become more pronounced on women and girls. Water scarcity compromises hygiene especially for girls and women as the little water available is prioritized for drinking and cooking. Women and girls have to walk longer distances to fetch water.
Girls are being withdrawn from school to support their mothers in taking care of young siblings, fetching water or due to lack of sanitary towels which affect their confidence and performance in class.
One of the local women said, “Due to severe drought, we have to walk long distances in search of water.”