In 2001, a terrible drought devastated Masai pasture lands. Philip and Katy Leakey, who live among the Masai in the Kenyan bush, wanted to help their neighbors and provide them while respecting their culture. They came up with an imaginative idea to utilize the excellent beading abilities of the Maasai women by using a readily available, sustainable resource --Zulugrass-- to create jewelry.

The Masai women artisans use the income for their livelihood, education fees, medical expenses, and to improve their lifestyles such as buying their own herds of goats, purchasing land, and starting their own businesses.