Kazuri is the Swahili word for “small and beautiful”
Kazuri Beads was founded in 1975 as a small workshop creating handmade ceramic beads, employing two local single mothers.
The mission of Kazuri Beads is:
To provide and sustain employment opportunities for disadvantaged members of Kenyan society, especially Single Motherhood women, and in order to achieve this, we must produce top quality Ceramic Jewelry and Pottery. This will also ensure that we are well equipped to compete and be recognized in both the local and international market.
Today they have grown to employ over 340 local, single mothers.
They take clay from Mt Kenya and press it to remove as much moisture as possible.
They then hand form and shape beads that are dried, hand painted, glazed and fired to be strung as jewelry and sold around the world. They also make amazing pottery too!
Chuck and I were fortunate enough to spend a few hours at the Kazuri bead factory as part of our Gate 1 Travel, Discovery Small Group tour in Kenya.
The women there are amazing, they worked side by side, creating fabulous beads, one step at a time, each with their own particular job in creating incredible jewelry.
There were bins and tubs filled with brightly colored beads of every shape, color, and size waiting to be strung together into necklaces and bracelets.
As most of you know Chuck and I collect Christmas ornaments from everywhere we travel, and as luck would have it, we found this fun keychain made of Kazuri beads as one of the additions to our tree from Kenya.
Not big on jewelry, we each actually bought ourselves a few wrap bracelets, just something fun for dressier occasions, and an excellent way to give back.
The Kazuri beads and jewelry are distributed all over the world and they are a member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO).
You should check them out, they make incredible Christmas presents and help a great cause.