The Women of Kazuri Beads

In an area where unemployment has been 65 to 90%, women have been given opportunity for the last 35+ years at Kazuri Bead Factory. If you saw the movie, "Out of Africa", you remember the spectacular scenes of Karen Von Blixen's coffee plantation. Kazuri is situated on part of that land - a beautiful area but extremely tough for women to find work.

Approximately 100 women are employed now, making this beautiful ceramic jewelry. Each bead has to be shaped carefully, polished, fired, painted and fired again. The result is KAZURI, the Swahili word for "small and beautiful".

Each piece you buy helps Kazuri grow and employ even more women who are waiting for the opportunity to work there.


Please meet Elizabeth Matendechero, to the left in red and blue. She is one of two women who started with Kazuri Beads back in 1975 and has been there ever since. I got the chance to interview her and hear what Kazuri has meant to her. John who gives tours at Kazuri was our interpreter. Elizabeth told me that the opportunity to work at Kazuri has been immeasurable. She has five children and 13 grandchildren and Kazuri has allowed her to provide for them and help with their education.

Along the way, Kazuri has helped with healthcare, an absolute luxury for many women in the area. She spoke of an operation she had to have and said she didn't know where she would be without Kazuri.

Elizabeth has turned her good fortune into helping others as she recruits women to work at Kazuri. Personally she has had 10 family members and 30 friends work with her over the years. Buying Kazuri is the best way to help women like Elizabeth help themselves.