The Ifakara Women Weavers project was begun by a Danish NGO in 1983 with the goal of helping impoverished female school leavers from the Kilombero and Ulanga districts. These rural areas play host to a large number of disadvantaged young people, who leave school without sufficient skills or training to find well-paid jobs and support their families. The situation is known to be particularly bad for young women, for whom opportunities beyond the farm are few and far between. Further education for girls is not a high priority for parents, themselves struggling to make ends meet, and unlike their male classmates, they cannot easily move to the big cities to look for work.
The project headquarters was founded in Kilombero Village, where the training of young women was started. These women learnt to weave a range of items, and once their training was completed they were helped to establish weaving workshops in their villages. This helped to ensure the knowledge was passed on from woman to woman.
Ten years after the project was initially started, MS-the Danish NGO helped the women to found an association to run and manage the project themselves. Ifakara Women Weavers Association (IWWA) was founded in 1993 and is still running today.
The Ifakara Women Weavers Association comprises a school to train the weavers, a loom production unit to build the essential equipment, a dying unit to produce the dye for the yarn, and a shop where the products are sold. Products include dyed yarn, bedsheets, curtains, blankets, bags, and other cloth products.
Hondo Hondo has a history of involvement with Ifakara and the Women Weavers and is delighted to be able to support the IWWA. We use IWWA products in the camp as bedcovers, place mats and decor, and we also sell a range of their products in the Lozenge Bar and Restaurant. All profit goes directly back to the IWWA and its weavers.
Visits to the Ifakara Women Weavers workshop can be arranged for interested parties. Please Contact Us or speak to staff at the Lozenge Bar if you are interested.