Mar 17

Seeing Firsthand The Growth of Education in our TLC Community

Hi, I’m Kathy, part of the US-based TLC team that visited our Kenya operations in March.

My Kenyan colleague Anne and I spent a day visiting Oltumusoi Primary School which serves the local Maasai community. In the 10 years since the school began with a handful of students, it has now grown to 200+ students. Through the sales of our Beads for Learning bracelets, The Leakey Collection pays for teacher salaries at the school. This year we are funding 5 of the 15 teachers.

kathy and anne

In Kenya, parents must pay tuition fees for each child to attend school. The students standing in this class all have parents who work for The Leakey Collection. Earning money so their children can attend school is the top financial motivation for most of our women artisans.

TLC parents

Almost all of the children are the first generation in their families to learn to read or attend school. In this 8th grade class, I asked if any of their parents had attended school and only this single boy stood up. The children are taught in English and Swahili and are trilingual (including their mother language of Maa) by primary graduation.

young man whose parent went to school

The challenge of balancing traditional gender roles with preparing for a changing future makes it especially difficult to keep girls in school as they become teenagers. Our Beads for Girls Graduation bracelets fund mentorship programs to support girls in pursuing their educational goals.

young girl

In the upper grades I said a few words to the girls, reinforcing that they are just as capable as the boys to continue on to secondary school (equivalent to our high school) and even a university. They were surprised to hear that more women than men attend universities in the US.

addressing class

Children as young as 4 can begin attending the pre-school class where they become familiar with the learning environment. Here they sing Heads-Shoulders-Knees-and-Toes, a song that unites children across the globe.


We walked home with the lower primary students who are dismissed after the school-provided lunch. These young children walk 8-10 miles each day to attend school. Truly inspirational!

walking home

Sep 11

How Bracelets are Educating Kids

We introduced Beads for Learning less than a year ago. At that time, there were a total of 4 teachers in the remote bush where we reside. At that time the ratio of student to teachers was 80:1, with a wide range of ages in each classroom.  Today we are thrilled to announce that because of your support of the Beads for Learning Bracelets, we have been able to employ another 5 teachers.  This brings the total to 9 and classroom sizes have been cut in half.

World Teachers’ Day is held annually on October 5th. We know how important teachers are for the future of our children in Kenya and hope that you will continue to share our program and show your appreciation to all teachers by thanking them for their service.

Click here Beads for Learning to learn more.



Nov 10

Bead for Learning-Teachers Choice for the Holidays

Beads for LearningWisconsin Mommy included our Beads for Learning in her Holiday Gift Guide. “Suitable for: The socially conscious person on your list. It also makes a great teacher gift!!”  Bravo!