Beads for Wildlife
In between safaris, there was also time to visit local Kenyan communities. The women were quite amazing, and stunning! They make all of the intricate beadwork you can see on display here. As you can see, the beads are very much a part of their daily culture, with every woman heavily adorned.
Buying the beads was such a pleasure, in part because they are so beautiful, but also because of the benefits for the communities and the wildlife. Buying beadwork from the women supplements their family income, helping to buy food, clothing and keep children in school.
At the same time, it is also an important part of Zoos Victoria Beads for Wildlife initiative, which aims to boost family/community income, thereby reducing the need for increasing livestock which would otherwise serve this purpose. Less livestock in these wilderness regions translates to less competition for precious resources, especially water, that native wildlife such as the endangered Grevy's zebra must endure.
Bringing the beads home meant that we could also spread the joy, and know that in some small way, we are helping.