World Health Day is this Thursday, April 7th. Let us introduce you to one of our partners making great strides towards improving the health of its community. The Maasai Women Development Organisation (MWEDO) works with the semi-nomadic Maasai of Tanzania, boosting development through the production and sale of traditional beaded ornaments, jewelry, and home accents. Founded in 2000, MWEDO trains women in leadership and business skills as well as craft development. In addition to employment opportunities, MWEDO provides human rights education, adult literacy and girls education, and health services. MWEDO works with women and girls to curb HIV/AIDS rates and increase local knowledge about maternal and child health. Learn more in this video >>
The Maasai are well known for their incredibly elaborate and vibrantly colorful beaded jewelry and ornaments. Beadwork is an age-old craft among the Maasai. Beads are traditionally made from natural materials like skins, bone, seeds, wood, and gourds. Different colors often symbolize different life elements in their culture and society; for instance, red signifies the bravery, strength, and unity of the community. MWEDO artisans now obtain their materials from modern sources, but they still maintain the traditional symbolism of the beadwork.