BEAD THE CHANGE
Through the Bead the Change program, the Africa Yoga Project organization
established business partnerships with 20 women in the Masai tribes of
Amboseli, Kenya. These women are paid wages to bead unique, handmade apparel
and jewelry. Funds are raised for AYP programs and the village, which has built
two schools out of the funds received through this program. Our commitment to
developing jobs that promote self-sufficiency and encourage contribution to the
community allows meaningful work to become a real possibility for these women.
This program has generated meaningful funds for the Masai. After the women are paid for their handiwork, the profits are equally shared between the AYP organization and the Masai village. AYP organization’s share benefits its programs. The Masai have provided two young women with scholarships to pursue higher education, and funded the construction of two schools in their community.
The Africa Yoga Project organization partners with Wildlife Works, a Kenyan-based conservation organization that produces the organic cotton shirts, and I Love Yoga, a U.S.-based yoga apparel company that supports the sale and distribution of each custom-made piece.
The life of a Masai woman is not an easy one. Reports show they face many levels of discrimination, both from within their community and outside. The women have limited access to national health services and schools and Masai villagers complain that the Kenyan government is doing little to support them. Africa Yoga Project created this program to help empower and build a sustainable living for the women of the Masai villages.