A fantastic initiative has been started by a Fair Trade importer / wholesaler called Zuri Design, involving a small team of artisans in the Kibera slum, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya who are creating unique, hand-crafted jewellery.

This slum is the largest in Africa and was recently featured in a two-part documentary called Famous, Rich and in the Slums.
It was supporting The BBC’s Red Nose Day Appeal 2011 and centred on the everyday life of residents as witnesses by Lenny Henry, Angela Rippon, Reggie Yates and Samantha Womack.

Zuri Design have been working in partnership with a youth employment project called Excel Concepts in order to raise funds to open a pioneering bone workshop in the slum.
Currently, the majority of workshops are unsafe with many of the workers exploited by middle men.

Excel Concepts workshop in Nairobi Kenya

Excel Concepts workshop in Nairobi Kenya

The FAIR Trade Store is now stocking a range of bracelets where profit from the sale of these products is returned to the producer to fund this community project.

This Blog will follow the progress of the new workshop and what positive changes your purchases bring to this unregulated industry that employs almost 500 young people from the slum.

Excel Concepts also produce a range of jewellery made from waste cow bone beads and often displaying a batik print, which comprises of bracelets, necklaces and earrings.

STOP PRESS : Over £800 has now been raised for this project by the sales of these bracelets and associated collections!

If you would like to learn more about the technique of Batik printing, then check out this Blog post —> What is Batik and how is it used for jewellery making in Africa?


“As I often say, “together we can make a difference”.
Many thanks for your interest. What do you think?
Please feel free to leave your comments below – I’d love to hear from you” – Paul.

You can find out more about Kenya with these 19 fascinating facts