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Meeting the Shanga family

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Located at Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge Shanga creates unique, high quality and handmade jewelry, glassware and homewares, incorporating recycled materials into many of our products. Shanga products are sold in Tanzania and around the world, with all profits being reinvested into the development of new products; researching and implementing additional recycling methods into our activities.

Shanga’s purpose-built, open workshop is located in the grounds of Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge and is a wonderful experience for visitors to meet the inspirational staff, to view and participate in the creative process behind Shanga products.

Over the next few months we will introduce you to members of the Shanga family; who they are, what inspires them and their dreams for the future.

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Shanga is a social enterprise that employs people with disabilities in a multi-faceted creative workshop. Of the 60 employees over 55% have disabilities.

We often receive requests to share everyone’s story, including details of what their disability, how it may have occurred, and how they have overcome the challenges the disability poses

This sharing in itself can often be challenging. For many of the Shanga employees answering these questions leads to reliving the trauma of a tragic accident or memories of being outcast by their communities. Out of respect for our staff privacy and wishes we prefer to share and celebrate their passions and achievements.

In this spirit we would like to introduce Amani and Masoud.

By not knowing their disability please do not let this hinder your full comprehension of the many challenges they have faced but please reflect on the following while reading their stories:

Masoud

At Shanga, We live like one big family bound with love
- Masoud 2018

 

Masoud was born and raised in Singida in central Tanzania. He moved to Arusha 9 years ago and has been part of the Shanga team for over 2 years.

People with disabilities can be ignored and “hidden”, due to his disabilities Masoud has experienced this first-hand. Through working at Shanga and other activities he partakes in, he is happy to be given the opportunity to show the world what he can do with pride.

Working at Shanga, Masoud has developed good working relationships with everyone, especially with the team in the Aluminum Department. He came to Shanga with some leather working skills including shoe and sandal making. Working at Shanga has allowed him to develop these skills further and now among other things is able produce beautiful mosaics pieces and work with aluminum.

Masoud’s passion and ambitions are intertwined. As a keen footballer and music lover, he would love to be known for his skill with the ball and gain popularity from his involvement in the music industry through his work in and on music videos.

Through his steady income from working at Shanga and some guidance from his father, who is a mason, Masoud’s greatest achievement to date is building his own house..

Amani

My motivation to participate in marathons is to encourage and inspire others
- Amani 2018

 

Amani was born in Manyara and moved to Arusha 18 years ago. He has been an integral part of the Shanga team for over 5 years.

Amani is part of our Beading Department and enjoys working at Shanga partly due to the diversity of those working here and having the opportunity to meet people from all around the world. Getting to know and work as a team is one of his greatest joys. Amani joined the Shanga team knowing how to sew and some beading techniques. He makes the most beautiful beaded stars, one of our most popular items.

Amani is a keen athlete and has participated in four local marathons, with plans to do many more. One of his major motivators is to encourage other people with disabilities that if they are willing to try, the possibilities are endless.

“A good life” is a driving passion for Amani, this has led him to be able to live independently which is a major achievement for anyone in Tanzania.

Away from work Amani follows his love for football and enjoys music.

Amanai dreams of owning his own His business idea is an arts and craft business making and selling his own designs using all the beading techniques has learnt with us. Knowing Amani’s drive and abilities this will happen.

For more information about Shanga, please visit our website www.shanga.org

Ability over Disability:

Shanga’s mission statement is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable development goals: "Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." Our global mission is to promote the rights and advancement of persons with disabilities.