Shanga (meaning”bead” in Swahili. Gorgeous African Necklaces..
These stunning handmade ethnic African necklaces are made from recycled glass. The necklaces come in two styles silk, and kanga.
The Shanga workshops are home to 22 Tanzanian people who are either deaf/mute or physically challenged in some way. Most can not read or write. Every day there is free sign classes on the workshop veranda and children from the surrounding areas are invited to join in the classes. All the staff learn sign, including the Masai gardeners etc.
Once a week the doors open to a group of down syndrome kids whom are learning to make beads and other products. Most of the amazing people who work at Shanga have been asked to leave their homes unless they hand over their entire salaries to
their families.Saskia Rechsteiner the founder of Shanga has taken it upon herself to pay for their rent whilst making sure they are safe and happy in their new homes. Saskia Rechsteiner also teaches many other life skills to the very talented staff at Shanga.
Everything is done by hand with some home made tools. No electricity is used. The beads are broken down by hand, they then grind the glass to a fine powder. The powder is then put into handmade molds and baked in a clay kiln fired with coffee wood so as to not cut down trees.
The Shanga name and necklace design are copyrighted to ensure the future livelihood of the Shanga staff.