How artisan jewellery is saving Malawian wildlife

Jalawi is our project that trains Malawian women who live in areas near national parks — and who have often come into contact with wildlife crime — to make beautiful jewellery from confiscated snare wire.

Earlier this month a new group of ten women — who live close to Kasungu national park — were the latest to learn how to make bespoke earrings and bracelets, opening up a sustainable income source for them and their families, and protecting Malawi’s precious wildlife in the process.

Snare wire traps are homemade devices used by poachers to catch and kill wild animals in and around Malawi’s protected areas. The traps are indiscriminate and work by wrapping around an animal’s limb, tightening every time the victim tries to pull away. Anything from elephants to impalas can be trapped by the wire, and inevitably suffer a slow and painful death.

When park rangers come across the snares, they are removed and the wire is hammered flat so they can be used for the jewellery. For every single bracelet or pair of earrings sold, the profits go directly to the Jalawi project, sustaining the makers’ income and allowing us to train more women!

Not only that, but as part of the Jalawi project, our jewellery makers hold information sessions in their local communities, passing on the information about wildlife crime to their colleagues, friends, and family.

Jalawi represents more than just ethical fashion — it’s changing the course of wildlife conservation in Malawi!


For those based in Lilongwe, Jalawi jewellery can be purchased at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre.

Jalawi is a Lilongwe Wildlife Trust project supported by the generosity of the Born Free Foundation.