We are very lucky at Shanga to be approached by individuals & organizations offering assistance. Assistance that over the years has come in a multitude of sized packages. On Saturday 20th July assistance came in 25 very big boxes and this time not just for Shanga but for friends and neighbors in our wider community.
In October 2018 Michelle was making the arrangements on behalf of Wildscapes Foundation (www.wildscapesfoundation.org/), who has a long affiliation with The Wheelchair Foundation (www.wheelchairfoundation.org/) for the distribution of wheelchairs to be donated around Tanzania. She approached the Shanga Foundation looking for potential recipients for these donations. Initially we nominated six members of the Shanga team. Then Michelle asked if we knew anyone else connected to our community who we could nominate as they had a few extras.
During a very short discussion with the Shanga team we had a list of 19 others to nominate. Through Michelle’s support these 19 friends and neighbors of Shanga staff were added to the recipients list.
The recipients were invited to come to Shanga’s Workshop at 10.00am but some arrived even before our gates opened at 8.30am. They shared tea and a chat with our staff while waiting. While they patiently waited to receive their chairs and have them fitted they got to see what happens at Shanga.
Times like these are an emotional event for everyone involved. Stories of pain, hardship and challenges are shared. One gentleman’s smile was gratitude enough “I am so grateful; this is the first time in over two years I am no longer bound to the ground and floor.”
A young lady & her family were so excited with the prospect of her being able to go out with them and no longer being house bound all the time.
Another wouldn’t leave until he had assistance to reattach the bells from his very old chair to his “… beautiful new red one.”
The appreciation from all who came can be summed up by one older gentleman’s comment “God bless all (those that made this happen) in abundance and continue with your good works.”
On behalf of everyone at Shanga we would like to send a huge thank you to Michelle, the Wildscapes Foundation and The Wheelchair Foundation, their founders who had the vision and their team that make days like this possible. ASANTE SANA.
Shanga is a successful social enterprise which employs people with disabilities to create 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 back 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.