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

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

What are Kitenge BeesWraps?

People have been asking me just what these Kitenge BeesWraps are that the Upendo wa Mama Group are making! So I thought we could explain!


Kitenge BeesWraps are an eco-friendly, reusable alternative to plastic wrap. Handmade using local cotton material, pure local beeswax, pine rosin and coconut oil, they have natural anti-bacterial properties that help to keep food fresh. Perfect for wrapping snacks like fruit, veggies, cheese, bread and over bowls in the refrigerator. You just seal with the warmth of your hands! They are easy to clean; simply wash with cool water and a little soap and hang to dry.

Every few months you can refresh your wrap placing on baking paper in the oven at 130C for a minute to allow the wax to redistribute. Remove and hold out until dry.
So many wonderful colourful prints!
There you have it! They are such a great idea and so useful for packed lunches and covering food. They really do keep food fresher longer … we love how much longer an avocado or banana keeps without browning in a BeesWrap! And being waterproof and antibacterial, they are also great for packing your toothbrush or soap when travelling! With the huge push for no more single-use plastics these are a great solution! And with the FlipFlopi Expedition setting sail today, raising awareness for finding solutions for the problems with plastic pollution, we are rather proud to have our Kitenge BeesWraps on board!
The Big BeesWraps for the FlipFlopi Expedition
It really is just so super being in on the excitement as the Mamas proudly keep up with orders! For the beeswraps, they cut the various sizes with zig zag scissors and templates, the fabric is then coated with the beeswax mixture and placed for a few seconds in the oven. It is then brushed smooth and hung up to dry. Then they must pass inspection before being folded and packaged.  It's funny, they were incredibly sceptical about selling them in the beginning … they really thought I was crazy. Then they thought that all these people buying them were crazy. But now they are taking some home to use themselves! 
The Upendo wa Mama Group in Dar es Salaam are also producing BeesWraps!
Mama Monika inspects a wrap

The Christmas orders!
We have been sending them across Tanzania and now also to Nairobi. Bees Abroad are selling them online in the UK and if you attend a UTSS event in BC, Canada, you may well find one there! They are available at a Fair Trade shop in Norrkoping, Sweden, and soon will be available online with Tentmakers Together in the US. You can get in touch (and Like us!) through our Facebook page @upendowamama.tz. The mamas are so delighted with the business which is making such a difference for them at home!

And that is the Kitenge BeesWrap and how it is helping women and children with albinism!

3 comments:

  1. The wraps on the Bees Abroad website are very reasonably priced compared to others I’ve seen. I shall get some, thank you!

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  2. Having seen so many in your photos I was thrilled to order a pack which will be winging its way to China shortly to my sister-in-law a little late present...They are so beautiful and such a brilliant alternative to plastic and clingfilm...I'm sold on them! Well done Rach and Upendo Wa mamas...just brilliant! Ellen
    xx

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