Like many young Masaai girls, Esther was married off when she was just 13 years old. Her husband moved her to southern Kenya, where they had 3 children. Poverty and a turbulent marriage left Esther longing to return to the north, but her husband’s family refused to allow the children to go with her. She decided to go by herself, and sold beaded crafts to tourists to earn a living. Her aim was to earn enough money to move her children to be with her, and send them to school.
Esther has been with BeadWORKS for a year now, building on the skills she learned while beading independently. With a consistent income, she has been able to bring two of her children up to Laikipia, and send them to school. “As a single mother, I feel empowered by the opportunities that the income from BeadWORKS gives me.” Esther never went to school herself, but says that people in the community often assume she has a higher education because she is so wise about business, saving money and paying back loans.