Break the Chains of Illiteracy.

You may recall that in a recent entry (From New York to Philly) I mentioned my friend Erin, her jewellery making and her involvement in educating young Maasai women from Kenya. As most of you would know, I do not normally pass on letters or frivolous information, but what I am about to write and talk to you about, is a topic very close to my heart – Education, and empowering people. I have already become involved, and I hope you will too. Involvement is not difficult, the easiest being in the form of a donation.

Erin and I sat down, and she printed me out a lot of information as well as thouroughly explaining what it was all about. I can absolutely guarantee that it is genuine and that the money does and will indeed go towards a brilliant cause. Knowledge and education are the building blocks of making the world abetter place for all, as opposed to the current “few”; we can thus appreciate why it’s falling apart, with so many governments conveniently NOT making it their priority. Education is power indeed, and utopia is a world where we are all able to ahve a slice of this “enlightenment”.

In January 2007, Beads For Education will hold their second Annuual Walkathon – a 100 mile walk from Isinya to Ambroseli National Park, in Kenya, Africa. Many African women and girls will do the walk, as well as people such as Erin. BEADS currently sponsors more than 250 girls, including several who have graduated high school, are attending college, and in some cases have even managed to avoid female genital muitilation (also “politely” known as female circumcision). Last year more than USD $36,000.00 was raised and the Walkathon 2007 goal is USD $100,00.00.

In addition to raising money, the Walkathon also:

Draws attention to the issues of women’s status and education, and their rights both locally and nationally.

Promotes pride amongst the sponsored girls and their families.

Enhances self-worth and a sense of accomplishment amongst the wakers.

ALL BEADS sponsored girls who are in 8th grade and high scholl graduates WALK. This is a rare oppotrtunity for the girls to participatein an extraordinary event which is SOLELY about them and their advancement.

I urge each and every one of you to go to the BEADS web site, and meet and greet the walkers- Maasai warriors, parents, teachers, sponsors and their girls. I urge each and every one of you to and learn more about this vital program. Knowledge is power, right? And in empowering others we empower ourselves!

To donate, click on the WALKATHON on the web site. The person I ask that you “sponsor” is Erin Gonzalez-Hicks. Donations of USD $15.00 or more will receive a beautiful keychain which has been hand made and beaded by the Maasai mamas.

Finally, yes Alex and I both donated. We beleive in leading by example, and that change begins with each and every one of us.


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Alex & Ombi

Alex & Ombi

Ombretta (Ombi) Zanetti is a co-founder of She has been travelling the world since 1989 and since 1999 with her partner, Alex, who hails from Ecuador. They both like to venture to the lesser known places. Ombi shares her passion for different cultures through her travel stories and Alex through his lens. Come take a detour or two with them!

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