Shanga loves to recycle what others no longer have a need for and transform it into hundreds of amazing products. If it can’t be transformed into something beautiful then they will try to find another way to recycle it. One very creative and innovative recycling has come from a very surprising source…..old Sunflower Seed Oil. They receive oil from the Elewana properties as a by-product from their kitchen as well as other local suppliers. For a number of years Shanga has been using Sunflower seed oil for energizing a glass furnace and the medium size Glory-hole. The glass furnace produces a wide variety of glass ware such as drinking glasses, bowls, jugs, carafes and house decorations. Shanga may be the only place in the world to use Sunflower Seed Oil in glass melting for art glass.
Sunflower seed oil is a domestic product in Tanzania and certain regions are a major producer, accounting for over 20 percent of national production. SunFlower Seed oil is renewable in a sustainable manner, converting the energy of daily solar radiation to chemical energy through a biological vector in large sunflower plantations. The sunflower seed oil has zero carbon footprint, meaning in the plantations the carbon dioxide from ambient air is sequestered into a hydrocarbon compound, which is converted into a liquid form then finally ending up being used to energize the Shanga furnace in an exothermic reaction together with ambient oxygen.
In Tanzania there are over 4.2 million people living with disabilities, which has a significant impact on health, education and employment, especially as people with disabilities get shunned from the community and find it nearly impossible to find work. Shanga by Elewana is successful social enterprise with an interactive workshop that employs people with disabilities and empowers them through training to create unique, high quality, handmade jewellery, glassware and homeware using recycled materials, giving them a chance to develop a sense of self confidence, a successful career and in turn support their families, making a better life for them all.
Basley is a glass blower, who was born deaf, originally trained as a carpenter, but no one would hire him due to his disability. Basley ended up in Arusha and approached Shanga, where he produces a wide variety of glassware such as water glasses, bowls, jugs, carafes & various house decorations that is sold all over the world.
By providing employment opportunities Shanga empowers individuals such as Basley, to produce products that are sold in Tanzania and all over the world, with profits being reinvested back into developing opportunities to employ more people with disabilities.