Teach a woman to bead…

And the whole family she will feed.

The sounds of goats bleating and babies crying welcomed us to Kalama Conservancy in Samburu County in northern Kenya on a recent visit.

This part of northern Kenya is is generally dry and dusty.

A group of some 11 women welcomed us with song and dance.

We — myself and five media colleagues — joined in, flexing our knees to the rhythmic flow of the traditional music.

We sat on makeshift stools, and the women introduced themselves to us in their local language and in Kiswahili.

We introduced ourselves to them in Kiswahili.

Beatrice Lempaira was our host on that hot afternoon. She is the beadworks production manager of Northern Rangelands Trust Trading, a for-profit social enterprise which is the trading arm of the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT).

She explained what her work entails.

“We work with conservancies in northern Kenya to empower the communities to find business opportunities. We have a credit and co-operative society, and we train the youth and women in business skills. They save money and take loans to run their businesses.”

Lempaira works with more than 1,020 women in nine conservancies across four counties: Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu and Laikipia.

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