Partner with Maasai mamas to provide ethical, sustainable income, and clean water for Kenyan communities

Beads for Water

Just One Africa has created a unique opportunity to empower women by partnering with amazing Maasai mamas to provide sustainable income AND clean water for Kenyan communities. We purchase recycled paper bead necklaces upfront from these women at fair trade prices and then partner with US-based students and volunteers to string them into bracelets. The profit from purchasing these beautiful bracelets is used to fund our Clean Water Program.  Pretty simple. It is world-changing also, to the tune of 200,000 gallons of clean water per bracelet! With the purchase of one of our recycled paper bracelets, you can literally change the world for someone – it really is that easy! Check them out!


The recycled paper beads are made in Kenya by a talented group of Maasai women artisans. For many women making these beads, this is their sole means of income. These beads are made from recycled magazine paper that the Maasai women cut into various widths, creating small, medium, and large beads. Some of the beads are left just as they are, making them a limited edition color, while others are dipped into food-grade dye, creating a rainbow of gorgeous colors which are perfect for stacking into beautiful combinations!

Your Purchase = Economic Empowerment

We have found that by working directly with the women of the community, an immediate impact is felt on the children with greater food security, funds for medical care, and school fees. Since the start of the bracelet project in 2014, we have seen the positive impact on the families in the surrounding communities of Loitoktok and Kimana as transforming from within. It has allowed the women to come together around an income-generating project of their choice and to build relationships, share advice, learn about women’s health, and have some basic education provided by our local leaders. As other Maasai women in the community hear about how this program impacts these families, interest is rapidly growing. Women who do not know how to make recycled paper beads can come and be trained by other women. The bead-making project is run in Southern Kenya by our dedicated local leader, Dorcus Parit. This has provided opportunities for community building, women’s education, skills training, sustainable income, clean water for all their homes and surrounding villages, and hope.

US based students and volunteers help make bracelets

After the beads are brought back to the US, we work closely with volunteers to create the world-changing bracelets. The response to starting ‘I am One’ Clubs in local schools has been overwhelming! The ‘I am One’ Club gives middle and high school students a chance to “Be the Change” by volunteering to help string the recycled paper beads into bracelets. The students can earn service hours. The volunteer efforts are used to create all our bracelets sold in our online store and at local events. We have worked with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and youth groups. We offer corporate team building as well as home stringing parties. Young people are changing the world, JUST ONE bead at a time!

100% of your purchase funds our clean water programs in Kenya

Water filters distributed to Kenyan communities

Since all the recycled paper beads are strung by volunteer labor, we can pass 100% of the profit to our Clean Water Program. Each bracelet purchased is 1/5 of the cost of the water filter system. Therefore, each bracelet provides 200,000 gallons of clean water; that translates into five people for ten years! Each water filter provides up to 1,000,000 gallons of CLEAN, SAFE water for 25 people for ten years!

We use all the bracelet funds to purchase water filters and distribute them to Kenya’s communities that already have water access but need an easy way to clean it. We have distributed the filters in orphanages, schools, hospitals and clinics, rescue centers, and communities throughout Southern and Western Kenya. The funds generated by the recycled paper bracelets alone have allowed us to distribute over 2800 water filters since the start of the program in late 2014. This has provided over 70,000 people with clean water for life! Changing the world isn’t so hard after all!

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