Rafiki Bracelet Trio

$28.00

SKU: S- 170375

Connect to women on the other side of the globe through supporting fair trade causes. Meaning "a friend" in Swahili, Rafiki is the name given to this set of three inspiring bracelets handmade by the artisans of Sasa Designs by the Deaf. Two bracelets are adjustable while the third is fixed with a toggle and a fun tassel. Featuring three different, colorful, beaded patterns delicately strung on coordinating thread, the trio are great worn together. Or, keep one for yourself and give the others to two cherished friends!

  • Set of 3
  • Thread & glass
  • Toggle bracelet: 7" L x 0.3" W
    Adjustable bracelet #1: adjusts up to 9" circumference x 0.4" W
    Adjustable bracelet #2: adjusts up to 10" circumference x 0.3" W
  • Handmade in & fairly traded from Kenya

Sasa Designs by the Deaf was started in 2011 to provide employment and fair wages to deaf women in Kenya. With an estimated unemployment rate of 85% nationwide, few deaf have ever had the opportunity to support themselves or explore their potential. Deafness in Kenya carries grave stigma that leads to deaf individuals being ostracized and in the worst of cases, abused.

Upon joining Sasa Designs, a deaf woman becomes an artisan – carefully cultivating a skill set that grows along with her confidence. Sasa Designs' beaders are a group of strong and proud deaf women. Long taught to be ashamed of their "disability," they have now been empowered through building a successful business and a community that lifts them up daily. With many single moms in the group, the next generation is going to soar, thanks to consistent wages, access to healthcare, and healthy food. A woman who has spent a lifetime feeling like a burden, can now take care of herself and her children. Sasa Designs is a catalyst for transformation.

In Kenya, the estimated unemployment rate among the deaf community is a whopping 85%. Sasa Designs by the Deaf launched in 2011 with the goal of providing sustainable, fair-wage employment, believing a deaf woman holds her future in her hands. Most of Kenya's deaf population lost their hearing in early childhood due to a lack of access to medical care during high fevers. Growing up deaf, they face a lifetime of discrimination, even from their own families.

Sasa Designs for the Deaf sought to change that, here and now. "Sasa" is the Swahili word for "now," which reflects the social enterprise's focus on showing their deaf artisans the potential they have today, not what defined them in the past.

Susan Jepkemoi had been unemployed her whole life, and struggled as a 24 year-old single mother of a toddler son; Sasa gave her new skills and a sense of pride. Annastasia Nekesa was a middle child in a large family when she left to marry, but returned home after miscarriages and mistreatment by her husband. Now she has charted her own course to independence. Virginia Wanjiku's father was jobless and couldn't afford to keep her in school; now she can save for her three daughters' educations. Dorothy Aoko was rejected and isolated for most of her 30 years, yet now she feels accepted as part of the Sasa community.

Sasa trains women with the goal of employment but also empowerment. By sourcing many components locally -- everything from recycled glass beads, handcrafted brass chains, and bone and horn details -- Sasa artisans see how their creations directly impact the local economy, not just their own families.

Each exquisite, handcrafted item of jewelry from Sasa Designs by the Deaf comes with a card letting you know which artisan made it, including her bio and photo. Think of these women with pride and know that you are helping them feel proud of themselves, too, now and into bright futures.

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