Maa Beadwork began with the simple idea of linking the Maasai women with camps to empower them and create a market for their beadwork.
Created to address the needs and wishes of the Maasai people.
Launched in 2013, Maa Beadwork connects women to the tourist market in the Mara, empowering them to generate their own income and manage it sustainably.
When our artisans initially joined Maa Beadwork, each and every woman was interviewed so that they could self-identify their personal needs, goals, and aspirations.
What are the ladies’ greatest challenges in their homesteads? Which chores do they spend most of their time doing that prevents them from being economically productive? What could they save for to make the most meaningful improvement to their home, family and prospects?
The most common responses included rainwater harvesting systems, household solar power systems, refillable gas cylinders, and school fees for children.
Maa Beadwork generated
USD in 2021 to enable Maasai women to utilize rainwater harvesting, harness solar power and cooking on gas, send their children to school, and pull their families out of poverty.
Rainwater Harvesting Systems
Gutters and plastic water tanks collect clean safe water at members’ homes and save many hours every day carrying 20 liters/kilograms as far as 9 kilometers from polluted rivers and springs.
Household Solar Power Systems
Provide lighting, phone charging, a radio, and a torch for the family, enabling children to do their homework in the evenings.
Refillable Gas Cylinders
With this alternative to firewood, women and children no longer have to walk into conservation areas to illegally collect wood and are no longer at risk on these journeys from encounters with dangerous wildlife. Burning firewood inside homes also has major health and respiratory implications to the home’s inhabitants. Gas provides a safe, affordable, and environmentally sustainable alternative.
School Fees For Children
Often Maasai fathers will pay school fees for their sons. However, if the girls are to go to school, it is the responsibility of their mothers to raise the money for them. This is the number one priority for 35% of the women engaged in Maa Beadwork, as they deeply wish for their daughters to become educated and to have the opportunities that they never received.