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Words of Noolmeshuki Kereto (Maa Beadwork Member Since 2013)

I have witnessed great changes in my life since joining Maa Beadwork. Before joining Maa Beadwork there’s a lot I did not know such as how women can come together and empower each other. After being selected to be part of Maa Beadwork we were organized into beading groups and this enabled us to share ideas. Within our group we subdivided ourselves into two smaller groups of ten ladies, we agreed to be contributing an amount of two thousand Kenya shillings per lady per month and the lump sum of twenty thousand Kenya shillings would be given to one lady every month. After ten months all the ladies in the subgroup had received their share. After receiving the money, I went and bought iron sheets which I set aside until I had saved up enough money to construct a house.

When the project started, the amount of work we received- in terms of items handed to us to bead was little hence the income earned was not a lot, but as the project grew we received more items to bead which meant more work thus more income. I used my first income from beadwork to construct my current house. Using the income earned from the recent beadwork payment, I was able to buy comfortable sofa seats for my small living room and bought a 2300 litre water tank for rainwater harvesting. My family is now able to access clean water for drinking.

I always make sure to tell my husband how much money I’ve earned through bead working and together we decide how the money should be spent, he appreciates and respects me a lot when I do this. By being transparent with him and spending the income earned to better our family my husband is very supportive of the work I do through Maa Beadwork because he’s witnessed the positive transformation it’s made to us.

In the future, I intend to construct a bigger stone-walled house and to keep working hard to better my life and that of my family.

Women receive food donated by Sidekick Foundation (Past event)

Due to Covid-19, my life has been very difficult. Maa beadwork closed its operations leaving me without a source of income. The markets where I sell goats or cows in case of an emergency also closed and the Sacco's where we get small loans closed. As the schools also closed, my children came home hence increasing the food budget, this has only led to an increase in our family expenditure with little to no Income.

I thank God that Sidekick, Mara Elephant Project and The Maa Trust donated food for us that lasted my family for two weeks, also beadwork has resumed its operations and I am able to earn little income to sustain us during this difficult times.


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