This project, which focuses on empowerment, was founded by Marilyn Hokororo in 2009, with about half of the employees being female. Their desire is to combine Tanzanian Fashion with a good cause: the ability to earn a living and financially support their families. As of today they manufacture shawls, carpets, blankets, necklaces, belts, bracelets, earrings, key chains and plenty of other goods to ensure a fair income for the women and men in the community. Almost all of the women in this project are single mothers who are struggling to provide for their children. Their husbands may have sadly passed away, left or are unable/uninterested in caring for their families. Single mothers in Tanzania face a lot of challenges and often suffer from patriarchal stereotypes such as women being inferior or weak, which often makes it hard for them to find a job. On average, women in Tanzania have five children and providing for them with a partner is hard enough, let alone being a single mother. Afrikan Wear Design wanted to step in and help women believe in themselves and their abilities as well as providing the opportunity to take care of their children and earn an income.
As well as supporting this project with our volunteers, Viva Tanzania also offers their amazing products in the shop at the volunteer house.
Creativity and motivation are needed here! You can choose your activities yourself including: marketing/product development, English and computer lessons or even looking after the children of the employees. Everything is possible! Sometimes, Afrikan Wear Design will get a big order from abroad, so you can help to manage and make sure that everything is produced within the given time frame to meet the customers needs. Afrikan Wear Design might even appear at fairs and present their products to gain new customers and you can take part in planning exhibitions like this. This project is open to anyone who is interested as long as they are creative, open, passionate and dynamic. If you have experience in anything mentioned above, we would love to hear from you. Your working hours will be discussed with you individually and Afrikan Wear Design is extremely flexible and hours depend on how much you want to work. This project is open to anyone who is interested but all we ask is you be creative, open minded and enthusiastic. Experience is not needed, however, people who are undergoing or have completed training or a degree in marketing and product development are favourable.
I volunteered in Afrikan Wear Design through Viva Tanzania for 3 months. I found my experience there fascinating. I had a main job during the week but nevertheless, I was looking for a volunteering experience too for the weekends. Tizia figured it out quickly, putted me in contact with Justin and Marilyn and did all the proper arrangements. My main tasks were to bring ideas about advertising, marketing, selling and made them come true. I got so involved in the project that even during my job’s lunch break during the week, I would go with Justin and Marilyn to keep helping and even share a delicious meal. What I enjoyed the most during my volunteering was learning a lot about Tanzanian culture during the meetings with Justin. A typical day would consist in working with my laptop at Justin’s office regarding product description, preparing the launch of a proper website, making calls and bringing clients to the business, learning how every product is created, planning wardrobe collections and even modelling for photo shoots with their products! At the end of each day, Justin was so kind to provide and pay for my transport back to the hostel. They are true statements of entrepreneurship and creativity and this experience with them made me realize that everyone has an entrepreneur inside ready to be successfully developed. No matter your profession (I am about to become a lawyer), this place is excellent to make a difference and even develop useful skills like talking to clients, management, accountability, and creativity. Jörg, 24, Germany.