Beads that work to change lives

BeadWORKS creates opportunities for pastoralist women in northern Kenya to translate their traditional skills into much-needed income. A business line of The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), BeadWORKS is part of a powerful and growing movement to transform lives. By promoting peaceful community partnerships, we are committed to conserving natural resources and wildlife through self-governed, community-owned conservancies and sustainable, social and ethical enterprise.

By purchasing from BeadWORKS, you are investing directly in helping to secure a sustainable future for significant areas of northern Kenya – for people, for wildlife and for the environment.

WHY IT WORKS - Women are earning. Wildlife and environments are thriving.

BeadWORKS works with community conservancies to organize Women’s Groups and provide the training, resources and support the women need to participate in BeadWORKS’ community-to-market value chain. Since 2005, participants have grown to include over 1350 women in 135 self-governed Women’s Groups, all earning increasing incomes through BeadWORKS. This income enables the women to survive and improve their families’ lives, without resorting to environmentally damaging activities such as charcoal production, or overburdening their fragile grasslands with sheep and goats. When women have reliable incomes which are independent of unpredictable rainfall, communities and wildlife are able to thrive – together.

  • Over 1,300 women artisans in 9 community conservancies indirectlybenefitting over 7,800 people

  • Creating sustainable incomes through traditional beading skills, rather than through habitat-destroying livestock over-grazing and cutting trees for charcoal production, ensuring a healthy environment where wildlife can thrive

  • Sharing BeadWORKS’ conservation concerns with members of their community. Since 2012, elephant poaching in north Kenya’s community conservancies has dropped 53%

  • Handmade by individual artisans within their communities, not in factories or workshops

  • Bringing women of different tribes together, contributing to regional harmony

  • More children attending school, family medical care, better nutrition

  • Boosting local economies, promoting conservation, protecting wildlife and the environment