We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Soap and Candles. Balms from a land flowing with Milk and Honey

I am lagging behind on the blogging again! But there is plenty cookin' here in Tanzania! I will save for next time all the stories on fuel-efficient stoves firing, beekeeper group meetings, and alas, a hive tragedy, all of which have been going on this week with Andrew visiting from Iringa.

Today, given that it is International Women's Day, here is a little bit on these wonderful women in Tanzania who deserve recognition for their achievement in the face of adversity! Women who are playing their part working towards peace and security and human rights, in particular, on behalf of those with albinism.

These women are working together towards getting their own workshop where they can learn and develop new skills and crafts and a shop where they can sell their products. These women have little to support their children with but with a Savings and Loans scheme and their own bank account they are managing to save money that they can draw from. Medicine can be bought, school fees can be paid. It all makes a difference!

This week together we were busy working on 100% pure beeswax candles in chopped up PVC pipe moulds as well as lip balms, body creams and greeting cards. It isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination! Just getting us all there, as well as all the materials (balancing all while treading carefully on rocks through the floods to get in the gate), is a feat in itself. We then rather struggled with the candles and need to do some fine-tuning. There are too many air pockets and they were almost impossible to get out of the moulds. We will try more soap or oil in the mould next time and work on getting the right pouring temperature and pouring speed! But in it all, we are learning and making progress and hope we will soon be selling beautiful, quality candles amongst other things!
Our first attempts
Mama Faith melts the beeswax

Jane works on embroidering a card while the balms are setting

Mama Wilson with her poor eyesight cannot sew, but she can glue the cards together!

Creative working, talking, praying for one another and
reading that Word as sweet as honey!
Natural Milk and Honey Soap
... from a Pringle Pot mould!
If you (and your friends!) have a minute to spare, we would love it if you could help the women's groups with your opinions on various beeswax and honey products. Please fill out (and share) our short survey here below on the blog. We really value your advice and support! Thank you!
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  1. What amazing work Rachel. What a blessing to these precious women's lives...I imagine you need to establish a market out in Tanzania for it to be workable for these ladies. But if you want a UK distributor...I'm up for it!
    If those are the card designs that Megan taught too..I'm impressed.

    1. Thanks, Ellen! Yes, these are the lovely cards that Megan taught how to make! As well as the local Tanzanian market, we are looking to the tourist and expat market! And we hope we can get some across to you too :)


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