Everyday when I wake up and meet with my Maasai sisters, they all have the same one question – “have you told the people back home about the bracelets so we can get more orders?” Beadwork here is like hitting the gold mine, but it isn’t possible without orders coming in. The women, if not beading, usually work extracting the centers of the Marula seeds for oil or work in the shamba (garden/farm), but I haven’t seen the same sense of community and joy than when these women are beading together. The Maasai are known for wearing beautifully ornate beads all over their bodies, and they grew up beading, so for them it’s just second nature. Like when you and your friends get together and make friendship bracelets or go to camp and make lanyards. Sitting amongst them when they get an order is wonderful. On the haziest of days, they can lighten the sky by singing and gossiping and being together, doing what they love. Many women have told me that they didn’t really have much of a social life before work because they would stay home all day sitting around waiting to milk their cows. These women so enjoy being able to come together and work with their friends while making money to sustain their new and improved lifestyles. Women are women all over the world, and we need to help our sisters out. What better way than to do a little shopping? I order my beads to give as gifts, to flaunt on my wrists, ankles and neck, and even to decorate my room.
So many people want to change the world, and this is one way we can start a ripple effect of change. Fair Trade has saved these women, and with a simple order, you can be a part of all this amazingness!
**Fair Trade Fairy
We thank you for following along with us on Piper’s (aka Fair Trade Fairy) experience in East Africa. It’s been so enjoyable reading her fresh perspective as she learned more about the reality of Fair Trade and got to personally know some of the women whose lives have improved well beyond what most of us can even imagine! Although you may not be able to meet these women and their families in person, you have the chance to get to know them a little as we continue with our ongoing updates on our Your Purchase Power page! If you haven’t met Naesupat yet, make sure you click here. Stop by often as we will be changing information frequently!
Tags: activism, Africa, be the change, ethical shopping, Fair Trade, fashion, gifts that give back, how does fair trade work, Katy Leakey, Kenya, Maasai, making a difference, More than talk, Philip Leakey, ripple effect of change, social causes, women, Your Purchase Matters, Zulugrass