Neema Crafts, Tanzania
Part of our company vision is to help support the disadvantaged and to try to ‘give something back’ – that’s why we have got involved with Neema Crafts. And by ‘involved’ we don’t just mean giving from our financial resources, we mean rolling our sleeves up and giving our time and skills as well. Neema Crafts aims to create opportunities for people who have physical disabilities and are marginalized by society by teaching them a skill or craft and the means to support not only themselves but also their families.
There’s a great stigma attached to having a disability in Tanzania, and the centre provides dignity and hope for many people who previously relied on street begging or who were hidden away at home. People have left Neema as chefs, artisans and micro solar engineers. Neema is place of creativity, compassion and hope, where lives are transformed everyday. The centre also includes a physiotherapy unit for disabled children, an award winning cafe entirely staffed by deaf people and a welcoming guest house which was the first in the world to be run by people with disabilities. We think that they’re doing a great job and consider it a genuine privilege to be able to be involved.
The products that Neema produce are sold mainly to tourists through shops in Iringa and Dar Es Salaam. We’re currently helping Neema to expand its business online, whilst separating the products from the charity in an effort to build a more premium and desirable brand.
The new Neema brand and website will give the new products a quality context, whilst a separate ‘sub brand’ and website for the Neema Crafts charity creates a platform from which other fundraising and awareness activity can be conducted.