Whilst I was visiting Arusha, I stumbled upon an amazing site named: Shanga (Shanga = beads in Kiswahili). Shanga is a place where being different is celebrated. Shanga employs people around Tanzania with all types of disabilities.
On top of carrying out such a good deed, all of Shanga’s products are made of recycled materials ranging from glass to oil. As said by our guide Paul (Who had a fantastic personality) “Recycling is an art”. Actually, their annual turnout of recycled materials is forty-eight tonnes! This is a very large number and that’s forty-eight tonnes less ‘trash’ that would end up in a landfill. A very positive impact regarding the environment.
One thing that warmed my heart is how open Shanga is to employ people. Actually, all of Shanga’s disabled employees were unemployed before learning about Shanga. It helps the people I met to earn a living and live a happy life with their disability. If you buy any products from the gift shop you’re helping Shanga employ and change the lives of marginalized skilled people.
My highlight of this magnificent tour was working with some of the talented workers to create beautiful pieces of jewelry. After I created my works of art I was able to buy and keep them. Apart from this as I explored through the gift shop I found a wonderful elephant plushie made out of an old men’s shirt. Who knew that something so cute could also be eco-friendly.
Overall Shanga is one of the few things that has restored my faith in humanity if you’re in Arusha I would highly recommend you pop in for a quick tour (it’s free). This site gets an 11/10 from me. Happy travels!