Pivoting A Social Business In A Pandemic

For many, 2020 has been a year marked by both overwhelming challenges and moving acts of kindness. At EG, we are grateful to see that this year also marks five years of strong partnership with Neema Crafts, a social business in the Iringa region of Tanzania that trains, employs and empowers people with a range of disabilities.

Last week, EG hosted a virtual seminar with Neema Crafts Directors Ben and Katy Ray. It was a rare opportunity to hear how their organisation has been adapting to the challenges of COVID-19 in Tanzania, where social distancing restrictions are being enforced and 90% of their tourist customer base are now banned from travel.

Though their main factory, adjoining guesthouse and café have all been forced to close, Ben and Katy are working hard to pivot their business to continue supporting their 120 staff while answering the call for personal protective equipment from front-line health workers.

Over the past month, they have successfully retrained one-third of all staff to sew facemasks, medical gowns and produce face shields from the safety of their own homes. The products are being prioritised for local health clinics and hospitals before they will be made available to the people of Tanzania and to an international market at a later date.

In order to make these lifesaving supplies available at no cost, Ben and Katy are seeking global financial support. EG has pledged more than $50,000 to support this fantastic initiative and secure the income of Neema workers.

If you also wish to donate, tax deductible contributions over $2 can be made through the Youth Off The Streets overseas relief appeal online or by direct transfer at:

Name: Youth Off The Streets-Overseas Relief Fund Limited
BSB: 032-076
A/C: 268974
Bank: Westpac
Reference: Neema