This month, eight of our scholars’ guardians learned beading skills from Kiretono Organization. The participants, all women, attended a five-day training from September 12th-16th, held in Karatu Village were Kiretono Organisation is located. All of the women are Maasai, and each is the head of her family. In Maasai culture, it is common to learn beading at a young age, so all of the women had some prior knowledge on beading. In this training, they learned new beading skill-sets and designs. They were very excited to learn new techniques. They travelled from their homes to Karatu Village in Arusha District. The women came from three different Maasai villages in Arusha District. Karatu is a village near Ngorongoro Crater, located a few hours or about a day of travel outside of Arusha.
The purpose of the training was to enable these women with livelihood skills so that they may improve their quality of life, while TFFT will still provide the scholarships for the children of these women. We asked the women what they are interested in and capable of learning in an effort to improve their livelihood, and they expressed interest in beading.
During the training, they learned about quality control and had discussions centered on what quality is and why it is important. Following this conversation, the ladies participated in an exercise to demonstrate wise spending on the best quality items. They each chose from 2 different groups of items based on quality and explained their choice to the group. In these mini-presentations, they answered the following questions:
- Why did you pick the items you picked?
- What makes something “better” quality?
- Who wants to spend their money on the poor quality?
- The items of poor quality will be the last to sell, if ever.
After the training, the women were happy that they learned to bead using wire, because previously most of them had only learned with threads. They made toothpick holders, wine glass rings, and lots of jewelry.
When Kiretono receives orders for products, they train the women to make it, give the women the order, and pay each woman per piece that she makes. They went home from training with orders for toothpick holders and wine glass rings. They have a leader in the group who inspects the quality of each product before taking the to Karatu for payment. The women also visit others who do beading so that they can come up with unique products that are not in every market.
All of the women have expressed gratitude for this opportunity. They look forward to seeing livelihood improvement through this business by expressing creativity in quality products that will attract buyers.