First weekend since I started placement and, unlike India, it is a little complicated to take long-distance weekend trips. As a result I will probably be having really chilled weekends doing trips around town. This weekend we visited a place called Shanga Foundation and River House, on a coffee estate. Shanga Foundation is an organisation that provides craft skills training and employments for disabled people. Among the skills they develop is glass blowing, sewing as well as bead work. We did a tour of the workshop, which took about half an hour, and we managed to speak to some of the employees there. They also offer coffee tours daily but we were trying to get to the Cultural Heritage center before they closed, which we unfortunately missed by a few minutes. Shanga Foundation also provides medical equipment and access to emergency treatment for those that are in need.
Over and above this they partner with like minded organisations, like River House, in order to grow their reach. River House is a restaurants on the same premises, with an AMAZING garden and great lunch options. A part of the profits made at the restaurant goes towards assisting Shanga Foundation.
To end of the weekend, well on Monday, I went to visit Positive Love after teaching. Positive Love is one of the new projects that Tanzania Volunteer Experience offers. It is a project for HIV positive women who are taught bead work and given a space to farm in order to make a living. The project is currently only a few months old but it was a great experience to see it in its beginning stages.
Seeing the work being done in these two projects I have been reminded of our ability to go beyond our circumstances and what appears to be right in front of us. Also seeing the impact it makes for the people involved I have been reminded of why I do what I do… There is so much value in helping others with their load, even if your contribution appears to be insignificant.