"Rafiki" means "Friend" in Swahili.
Rafiki Bracelets was founded by Lauren Keller (right, in leftmost photo) in 2016 with the help of two classmates and family friend Ombeni Kitoi Majenja (right). Kitoi's family lives in Tanzania, and his children attend school with many of the students whose lives are touched by Rafiki Bracelets.
Our profits provide students in Tanzania, and, eventually, around the world, with educational resources. When we started, we only sold bracelets with pen pal counterparts, encouraging our customers to communicate with students in Tanzania to give them a greater appreciation for their shared humanity. Many charitable organizations lack this personal aspect, perpetuating stereotypes and harmful "giver"/"receiver" dynamics. Rather than fall into that trap, Rafiki Bracelets aims to cultivate dignity and intercultural relationships.
When you purchase a Rafiki bracelet, you are more than a donor; you are a friend. You and your friends in Tanzania have a lot to learn from each other. By improving their education, you can make sure that the rest of the world can learn from them one day, too.