2007 BEADS Walkathon Aims to "Break the Chains of Illiteracy" for African Women

General Inquiries


Tel:+254 711 063 000

Ngong Road, Karen, P.O. Box 310
00502 Nairobi, Kenya

With support from AWF, an organization called BEADS is improving the livelihoods of Maasai communities in Kenya. BEADS, which stands for Beads for Education, Advancement Development and Success, supports educational sponsorships for girls, career counseling, community service projects, HIV/AIDS prevention, and famine relief programs.

BEADS holds an annual Walkathon to raise awareness and sponsorships for this important work. This year's Walkathon--100 miles from Isinya to Amboseli National Park--is called "Break the Chains of Illiteracy" and will take place January 6-13, 2007.

The 100 Mile Walkathon has two major goals:

To raise awareness and sponsorships for girls education in Kenya, the USA and around the world.

To raise money which supports BEADS for Education, funds equipment and the critical programs which link girls with sponsors and improves the quality of their education.

BEADS presently sponsors more than 250 schoolgirls, who otherwise would most likely have dropped out of school by age 10 and married by age 13. Although Kenyan public schools became free through the eighth grade in 2003, BEADS-sponsored girls attend private schools. While far from luxurious, these boarding schools provide the best education available for these girls, who must also volunteer in their local communities.

A vital aspect of the BEADS programs is that each sponsored girl is committed to her local community through volunteerism. High school graduates are certified as a HIV/AIDS trainers and elementary school teachers. After completing one year of service teaching at the public schools, each girl is qualified to enroll in college through the BEADS sponsorship program. Since 2004, BEADS teaching interns have been the sole teachers for classes 1-3 at Enkong Narok School in Amboseli National Park. In 2007, ten interns will join this program. BEADS also boasts 7 girls who have completed the internship year and are enrolled in college.

The 100 Mile Walkathon last January was a huge success, raising $36,000. "With each step we raised awareness for girl's education and built friendships which will endure a lifetime," said Debby Rooney, BEADS Co-Founder. For the upcoming Walkathon in January, BEADS hopes to raise $100,000.

Visit www.beadsforeducation.org to learn more about the BEADS Walkathon and their other innovative programs. Beads for Education Inc is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Ventnor, New Jersey.