News Blog

"Tuko Pamoja" - we are together

May 03, 2017 - 0 comments

The start of 2017 has been an exciting one at Neema Crafts, Tanzania. We have been granted permits to build 8 more specially adapted homes for our staff. This week we cleared the ground together with pangas and jemes ready to start building. The plan is to build a total of 18 new houses in 2017 on top of the 15 that we have already built. 

100% of the profit from the online shop which is based in the UK goes back to Neema Crafts, Tanzania. We are staffed by volunteers and pay no storage fees which enables us to maximise our profit.

Fairtrade at Neema Crafts

Fairtrade at Neema Crafts

Feb 27, 2017 - 0 comments

Fairtrade at Neema

Neema Crafts would like to thank all our customers for their support by offering  20% off all items online during Fairtrade Fortnight 27th February – 12th March.

Fairtrade Fortnight is an annual campaign organised by the Fairtrade Foundation to increase the awareness of fair trade products and the people who produce them. Artisans like those trained and employed by Neema in Tanzania.

However at Neema we don’t treat being “Fair Trade” as simply being some sort of marketing ploy for a couple of weeks a year.  Instead it’s the way we aim to be in every aspect of our business dealings.  We always aim to treat our workers, customers and suppliers in the same way we would like to be treated.

We strive  to ensure that every product we supply is produced in accordance with the following World Fair Trade Organization principles:

1.  We create opportunities for the most economically disadvantaged workers. Currently we employ over 120 people with disabilities in Tanzania.

2.  We aim to act with transparency and accountability in all our dealings.

3.  We follow fair trade practices in our dealings.  For example, we purchase as many raw materials locally as possible and make payment to our suppliers as soon as they are due (if not sooner).  We build long-term relations with suppliers, ensuing they have a dependable source of income.

4.  We pay a fair price for our raw material and other costs. 

5.  We do not tolerate child labour or forced labour in any way.

6.  We do not tolerate discrimination of any type including faith and actively promote equality for people with disabilities. 

7.  We ensure good working conditions.  This includes Health and Safety issues, working hours and general working conditions. We provide additional services for our staff including physiotherapy, mobility aides, and more recently have introduced a staff house building project. Being at Neema doesn’t just provide our staff with employment but also social activities like our staff football team.

8. We help our employes to build capacity.  This means we work with employees to develop management skills, productions capabilities and provide business training for those seeking to progress to self-employment.

9.  We promote fair trade generally.  In the UK our online shop plays an active part as a member of the  British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers. 

10.  We also respect the environment.  Many of our products use recycled materials (such as our recycled paper) and we  reuse packing materials wherever possible. Our wooden goods are made from sustainable teak grown locally.

We are offering the 20% off as a way of thanking all our customers for their continuing support (the more we sell the more disabled artisans we can employ) and to highlight Fairtrade Fortnight and the important message behind it.




Freia Groves product designer at Neema Crafts

Introducing our designer Freia Groves

Jan 30, 2017 - 1 comment

Many of our lovely products have been designed by Freia Groves who has been working at Neema Crafts,  Tanzania for nearly two years. Here is more about Freia in her own words. 

"I first came to Tanzania as a friend I was working with in South London went to university with Katy, the co-director, and they were looking for people with similar experience to mine to come and help teach at Neema. That was 2013 I think and I've been coming back and forth ever since! My first two visits were only for 3 months in between freelance jobs in London. Then in 2015 Ben and Katy asked if Id like to come for a longer time period and I said yes! So I started in 2015 for what was supposed to be a year and have just extended it for a second year. I think once you get to this place it becomes very infectious especially working within the great community we work in!

A bit about my background. I trained firstly in Tailoring at the London College of Fashion and then went on to study Fashion Design at the University of Northampton. After graduating I worked for a few designers including NIKE and TOPSHOP concessions and also set up my own clothing label with support from the Princes Trust. I also started teaching sewing and pattern cutting classes in various community projects including B2B Sewing project working with refugees in the UK and Ingeenium a project working with vulnerable women. I guess that was where I found my passion of skills sharing and also working within the community. From there I worked as a freelance sewing teacher and my last job in the UK was with Sew Over It, a sewing and pattern cutting workshop business in South London.

I started here at Neema by designing clothing  and we did a fashion show with all the staff as models the first time I was here but then I ventured out into product design and now have just finished designing my first set of textile prints for Neema. I think thats what I love most about my job here is that it is very versatile and flexible, one day I could be designing jewellery or bags and then the next day I'm up in carpentry designing coasters or in the screen printing container working on new prints.

One of the other things I really like about working here is that I learn just as much from the artisans here as they learn from me. Its definitely more of a partnership of designs rather than just me. Behind the designs there usually is alot of long days working alongside the staff here and Katy who is very good at having the brand image in mind, to come up with the best possible product. I feel very lucky to work here at Neema. It is a really incredible project showcasing some of the most talented artisans, I feel, in Tanzania.


Happy New Year and thank you.

Happy New Year and thank you.

Dec 28, 2016 - 0 comments

We want to thank all our customers for your support in making this such a good year for Neema. Thanks to you,  Neema Craft employees in Tanzania receive above local wages, benefits such as mobility aids and physiotherapy, and healthy working conditions. On top of this we are very pleased to share that all the profit raised from the online shop in 2016 will go towards building two specially adapted staff houses as part of our ongoing house building project in Iringa, Tanzania.

Thank you for being part of our Neema community. Please think of us during the new year when buying homeware for you, or gifts for your family and friends, and help us make 2017 even more successful for Neema. 

We wish you very happy 2017 and send all our love and thanks to you and yours.