While a person is in Kenya, you will invariably meet people selling different wares : necklaces, pottery, everything African, artifacts galore. One of those people is Ken Wainaina, or as the people from World of Difference call him, Ken the bracelet man.

Ken can make you any type of bracelet you may want, and will customize them with your color preferences, and will add phrases, names, etc…all for a very reasonable price. This year, my brother and I wanted to get something for our University of Utah college football tailgating group, and asked Ken to make us several bracelets to support our love of the U.

On one of our last days in Kenya, we were able to go visit Ken at his home to meet his family, and bring him donated service supplies for his orphanage, Shunem Children’s Home.

Ken has been making bracelets for many years, giving them World of Difference to take back to America to sell, hoping that he could one day make enough money to get a bigger home for his family. As we arrived at his home and started to unload the supplies we had brought for him, I found out that all the money Ken raises from the sale of his bracelets goes to his orphanage instead. He is very passionate about his own people, and told us stories about the rape and physical abuse that happens to girls and young women in the slums. His dream is to have a big enough orphanage to provide comfort and shelter to those that need it the most.

But I think it’s better to hear it from Ken himself :

As Ken finished speaking, I couldn’t have been more proud. Not only of the work we had accomplished while in Kenya, but for all the bracelets we had bought, knowing where that money was to be going. Many other team members also had quite the experience at Ken’s.

Nan with a bundle of dolls for the little girls.


Dori with baby supplies. So cute!


Heather and Ken’s wife.

So as the University of  Utah plays their first college football game tonight, our tailgating party will be wearing their bracelets to support our team,  and, more importantly, Ken and his amazing vision for Kenya’s girls and women.

Go Utes!

3 Replies to “Ken & the bracelets”

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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