shanga woman beading arusha

Put a sparkle in their eyes Tour of the Shanga glass and weaving workshop

The essence of a tour of the Shanga glass and weaving workshop

Shanga is the Swahili word for bead and this tour gives artistically-minded travellers the opportunity to work with beautiful glass beads while supporting an income-generating initiative for the disabled. Spend the morning or afternoon with the disabled workers at Shanga, an Elewana initiative based at Arusha Coffee Lodge. Get in touch with your creative side, helping to put together beautiful Shanga necklaces, made from recycled powder glass beads. Enjoy a tour of the workshop before trying your hand at creating your own masterpiece.

This small business employs over 50 disabled, mute and deaf people and produces a range of gorgeous necklaces made from beads and a selection of vibrant silk, kanga, chiffon and voile coloured fabrics.

A brief stint that started out in 2006, with the idea to create shanga necklaces for a Christmas fair has flourished to the point that this business is now a sustainable operation, supplying retail outlets across Tanzania and abroad.

The workshop is a hive of creative activity and everything from glass blowing recycled bottles, recycling old pots and pans, paper making, beading, bead making, weaving and metal work is done here.

An institution in Arusha, the business prides itself on providing a protective, consistent and warm environment for Tanzanians with disabilities; and artfully crafting stunning products from waste materials. These recycled and reused items are a beautiful adornment to your home.