2021–22 Report: Beads for Education

2022 Donation: $10,000
Donations to Date: $10,000

Our donation allowed BEADS for Education ("BEADS") to teach 125 students about climate-smart farming practices, expand their school farm and provide climate education workshops for more than 7,000 people in Kajiado, the Amboseli National Park region and the Maasai Mara.

Due to the ongoing deforestation in Kenya, the traditionally pastoral Maasai communities have embraced farming for their food security needs. BEADS, through their Tembea Academy, teaches students creative and critical thinking while instilling a philosophy of returning everything that came from the earth back to the earth. Their school is completely solar powered, they grow all their own food (for 300 daily meals), practice no till gardening, don't use pesticides, use greenhouses, and compost all their organic and paper waste.

In 2022, BEADS organized 10 town clean-up days — including the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and the coast of Kenya — to teach the students about the detriments of plastic waste and how their actions have a direct impact on the climate. In so doing, the students learned about wildlife and marine biology while experiencing the world like never before — as they visited game parks and marveled at the ocean for the first time (and some even learned how to swim!).

And the climate-smart work doesn't stop there. During school breaks, each student volunteers to teach their families and communities how to generate higher yields and implement a more sustainable farming process by using less water, planting crops to attract and feed insects (along with pollinators), and reforesting the indigenous and medicinal plants that have been decimated. Then, each student petitions the Kenyan parliament to take action on climate change — with one previous student being so successful, she was invited to be a Yale Young African Scholar, selected to be an Ashoka Changemaker, and had her book on climate change and drought published and translated into four languages by World Reader.

Over the next year, BEADS plans to expand the number of cleanup days, add new solar panels to the school, build water catchment facilities and four new greenhouses, plant 1,000 trees, and girdle the garden with a fence to stop the antelopes from eating al fresco.