“The men were against it, they thought us women were shunning our traditional responsibilities. But as soon as they saw us go into town and buy nice clothes and food for our families, they asked how their wives could get involved in what we were doing!” Seki recalls the time she first got involved with @beadworkskenya. Known to her friends as ‘Catherine’, Seki lives in Westgate Community Conservancy with her husband and five children.
A typical day for Seki starts at 4am, when she milks the family’s herd of camels and goats. After household chores she goes out with the donkeys to fetch water for the home. “If the kids are on school holidays, I can bead from 10am to 4pm, because they can help with the house and livestock chores” she says. “If they are all in school, I’ve got less time to bead.”
Seki’s husband is a teacher and local Chief. In the beginning, he was one of the few men who supported her women’s group in joining BeadWORKS. As others in the community started seeing the benefits, attitudes shifted. More kids were in school, there was better food on the table, more businesses were opening – all driven by empowered women. “My daughter had a problem with her eye. The hospital bill was 6,000 KSH (US$60). My husband’s immediate reaction was ‘we have to sell a goat to pay for this.’ But we didn’t need to, I had enough saved in my BeadWORKS kitty to pay for it,” Seki says proudly.
The link to conservation is never far away. Through the Conservancy, the @grevyszebratrust directly employs women from the group to monitor Grevy’s zebra in the surrounding area. “When we see the men in their ranger uniforms, we feel proud that we are taking care of our conservancy’s resources.” #conservation #womeninconservation #samburu #beads #enterprise #beadworks