Beads For Wildlife campaign sign with image of three black and white striped zebras. Beads For Wildlife campaign sign with image of three black and white striped zebras.

Beads For Wildlife

Purchasing handmade beaded products can help save endangered wildlife in Kenya.

Each Beads for Wildlife piece you purchase provides a woman in Northern Kenya with the choice of a reliable income that doesn't impact local wildlife.

The Beads for Wildlife program supports more than 900 women who now earn enough income to support their families.

This alternative income reduces a family's reliance on less sustainable income sources such as livestock and charcoal production, which reduces the competition between people, domestic animals and wildlife for natural resources.

The program also helps to empower women as earners, improve food security and provide increased access to health care for participating communities.


Buy a Beads for Wildlife product and help reduce the pressure on endangered animals in Africa.

How does the program work?

In Northern Kenya, wildlife such as the endangered Grevy’s Zebra are competing with domestic livestock for natural resources such as grass and water. Zoos Victoria is working with the Rendille people of the Melako Community Conservancy to facilitate a sustainable income and restore the natural balance to their rangelands.

Zoos Victoria purchases the beaded products from our partners at the Northern Rangelands Trust and the artisans are paid each month.

By purchasing a Beads for Wildlife item, you are investing directly in helping to secure a sustainable income for people and a brighter future for the wildlife and landscapes of Northern Kenya.  

Beautiful bead work worn by the Melako women in Kenya.

What do the different bead colours mean?

The different colours of the beadwork represent various elements in the lives of the Rendille people.

Black: The people and life’s journey

Blue: The sky which provides water to the land

Green: The land that grows food for the cattle

White: The milk that nourishes the community

Red: The blood of the cow

Yellow: The animal skins

Orange: Hospitality that is offered to guests

For more information about the Beads for Wildlife campaign, contact the Conservation Campaigns team.