Exclusive: My Newest Project

Here I am with William Kikanae, the Maasai community leader

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In our often hectic and full lives, we sometimes forget how truly blessed we are, and take for granted things we believe to be universal and basic rights, like having food when we’re hungry, and medicine when we’re sick. We forget that there are millions who starve, and millions that die from easily treatable diseases.  We often complain about our bosses, our coworkers, the long hours spent working, and we forget that there are millions who don’t have the opportunity to earn a living.  Sally Koch once wrote, “great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day”.  There is so much we can do, big or small, to help and inspire change.

My new role as ambassador of the Maasai Project 2013 for Pikolinos has given me the opportunity to help the women of Maasai and travel to Kenya to experience the culture for myself.

Pikolinos is a wonderful company that focuses on providing the endangered Kenyan tribe, Maasai, with a better quality of life. The Pikolinos team supplies Maasai women with the leathers and materials used in the production of their brand’s shoes. The result is a gorgeous sandal collection, hand embroidered by Maasai women with the patterns, colors and designs that convey their unique cultural identity.

Pikolinos has been able to create 1400 jobs for the Maasai women. Thanks to Pikolinos, Maasai women now earn stable wages for the first time in their lives (something that only men had the right to do before). Pikolinos and the NGO ADCAM are helping the Maasai community with the construction of schools, as well as providing access to basic goods, such as food and medicine. I am so proud to be a part of this project, which encompasses so many things that I value in life: fashion, women’s equality, and the right to an education and healthy life.  I’m heading off to Kenya for what will surely be an amazing experience, and of course, to create some unique sandals alongside the Maasai women.

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To learn more about Pikolinos and the Maasai Project 2013, visit www.Pikolinos.com/Maasai

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Executive Editor and Creative Director of OliviaPalermo.com

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