Meet the Makers - Shanga Tanzania
Shanga was founded in 2007 by local resident, Saskia Rechsteiner, who saw an opportunity to generate extra income for a local deaf lady she knew and together they started producing the necklaces to sell from Saskia's backyard. Demand for the necklace grew and soon the first Shanga Workshop was established. The Shanga range of products was expanded, utilising recycled and sustainable materials where possible, and the project was opened for people to come and meet the inspiring disabled staff and purchase products on site.
Shanga now employs more than 70 people with a wide range of disabilities to make creative products including weaving, glass blowing beading, paper making and metal work, using recycled materials wherever possible.
'Shanga' is the Swahili word for bead.
Throughout Shanga’s colourful journey, the heart and message of Shanga has remained the same - Be kind and recycle.
Of utmost importance is providing a safe, consistent and loving environment for Tanzanians with disabilities who have so often faced terrible hardship in their lives. Of no less importance is making amazing products from discarded materials so that we can contribute positively to the Tanzanian environment while producing creative pieces that celebrate Tanzanian culture.