It is with great excitement that we announce the launch of a new social enterprise initiative in Nkoaranga—a bead craft and jewelry production workshop!
Lead by our Outreach Coordinator Reuben and managed by Rehema, this program aims to teach vulnerable families and children of the Meru District skills that will help them form businesses and increase house-hold level income. Rehema and Reuben are pictured below—eagerly setting up shop!
The new facility is located a few store-fronts away from TST HQ and has already been stocked with an array of beads, wire supplies and basic tools that our team will use to create wearable crafts and traditional Tanzanian jewelry.
Why Jewelry making?
TST holds tri-monthly meetings with all of the enrolled and graduated mamas of our family preservation programme. During these open forum discussions, the participants are encouraged to share best business practices, current challenges, possible resolutions and ideas for future growth. Our outreach team facilitates organic discussion on what has and hasn’t worked and uses this time to listen to the community and note any trending issues that we might be able to assist with.
Overall, these meetings are a great way to build rapport with local families and strengthen community bonds. Moreover, they are also an excellent time to collect feedback on our program and its progress and to record suggestions for future initiatives. After facilitating a few of these group discussions, we soon realized that many individuals expressed uniform interest in jewelry making! Given this feedback, we decided to brainstorm how we might be able to actualize these rote requests into a reality for the entrepreneurs of Nkoaranga!
After discussing program possibilities at length with our team, management decided that we had the capacity to launch a new social enterprise initiative aligned with the majority of community requests we were fielding. Thus, a jewelry crafting workshop was conceived!
The new workshop will allow individuals to explore their interests and build creativity while creating rich crafts that will help increase house-hold level income and quality of life.
The first class was slated to occur on October 22nd and has eight students from our outreach program enrolled thus far. Priority was given to youth enrollment and the class is at its current capacity. We aim to provide this inaugural group of individuals with new skills, the opportunity to earn a higher income and moreover, an increased sense of confidence. As the program continues to grow, we hope to increase class size and eventually, separate learners into classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels!
In conjunction with this new program, we are delighted to welcome a talented craftsman & incoming TST volunteer who embodies the spirit and ethos of our mission.
Welcome Chris Hardwicke!
Given his extensive jewelry making experience, Chris will help guide and manage our new initiative as it evolves. He is scheduled to arrive on November 18th and will plan to stay with us for upward to a year assisting, training and working with our local staff. Chris brings with him years of experience, enthusiasm, supplies, tools, equipment and in kind donation material for the village of Nkoaranga to use during the first year of program development and beyond. We can’t hardly wait to see what kind of gorgeous crafts the community will create!