The CREATIONS Charity Craft Shop is a cooperative venture of four charities in Mwanza. These organizations had worked together for years on a local biannual craft show, which led to the idea for a shop. It now provides an opportunity for the charities to sell their handicrafts year round and thereby earn money for their programs and the crafts people. The four charities are:
- Tunaweza: a training program for young adults with disabilities
- Uzima Centre: where orphans in secondary school make crafts to help pay their school expenses
- Lulu : a program for young single mothers to train them to become self sufficient
- Chanua: where widows and other women join together to make craft in order to support their families.
The shop also provides a means through which people can learn about the charities and the services they provide in the community. It is also a way to showcase the skill of many people forgotten and discredited by society.
The crafts made include batiks, cards, bedcovers, jewelery, stuffed animals, pillows, clothing, decorations, bags, and many other items.
The shop is run by a committee made up of members from the various charities. The dream is to be able to expand the shop so that more charities can participate and benefit from this project.
2/3 of the price of each item goes directly to the charity, with 1/3 going to the running of the shop.
The shop has a GO FUND ME page on the internet where people can donate directly to the shop to help with running it. We used a Swahili saying that goes “If you wink in the dark, you’ll never get a fiancee.” In other words if the work of the charities can’t be seen no one will ever know about them.