Rafiki Bracelets Support Artisanal “Mamas”


Led by junior club president Arjun Chhabra, [email protected] held a campaign selling handcrafted Rafiki bracelets for Mother’s Day and graduation, with all of the proceeds going to charity.

With each bracelet costing $10, and discounts for multiple Rafiki purchases, a total of $1234 was raised for various causes including national COVID-19 relief and healthcare, food, water, and education on the international front.

Students were able to pick from 6 bracelet styles and designate the charity to which the funds would be donated.

Junior Emma Dillard, inspired by the recent campus canned food drive, decided to purchase a bracelet and donate to a food bank.

According to Dillard, not only did she enjoy being able to match bracelets with her mother but “WE club’s goals were an added bonus to the value of the gift.”

Kenyan and Ecuadorian women, also known as “mamas,” hand made the bracelets using “artisanal skills passed down through generations,” according to the Me to We charity which employs the women.

Along with providing beautifully-intricate designs for people all across the world to enjoy, the income earned from making these bracelets helps the “mamas” to “create a brighter future for their families,” according to Chhabra.

Chhabra chose to support this initiative as it felt “appropriate for Mother’s Day” and “a safe way to hold a virtual fundraising event.”

Teacher Lindsay Webb-Pebloe, who has been helping with the club over the past 2 years, thought the bracelets “were cool,” and is “open to all ideas” that have come her way during distance learning.

According to Dillard, her mother “loved” her Rafiki bracelet and plans on purchasing more in the future because “they are so versatile and the colors were really pretty.”

In selling these bracelets, Chhabra hopes to help students reconnect with one another as “wearing multiple rafikis can have visual impact and draw a connection between two people, even while practicing social distance.”

Chhabra raised $220 in 1 hour of a campaign selling Graduation Rafikis. He is planning future events for [email protected] to “continue to have impact, especially during these challenging times.”

Chhabra hopes to see fellow students continue to support [email protected]’s initiatives even while school is closed because according to We.Org, “it is [7] times more likely that youth will see themselves as agents of change compared to their peers by participating in campaigns with social impact.”

“We can change lives and transform communities. We can have impact. The question is really, ‘Why not?’” said Chhabra.