(left to right: back row) Meg, Tessa and Alice. (left to right: front row) Barnaby and Angus. Photo Supplied

A social young enterprise group from Mount Aspiring College, Wanaka.

Shanga is a social enterprise established by a group of 5 Year 13 students from Mt Aspiring College in Wanaka who are participating in the 2021 Young Enterprise Scheme. As a group of students we acknowledge how fortunate we are here in New Zealand and we are aware that millions of children worldwide do not have access to a world class education system like us. 263 million children are not in school worldwide, 30 million of those children are from Africa. This inspired our company’s vision to provide socially sustainable and useful products that support developing communities. Our products are the tools we will use to raise awareness of this issue.

Shanga offers stylish and unique handmade products while giving back to the developing communities in Kenya. Buying Shanga’s products means that the buyers receive an awesome product while they educate children in Africa to break their cycle of poverty and provide women with a job. Our company name ‘Shanga’, translates to ‘beads’ in Swahili which is the official language of Kenya where the charity ‘So They Can’ is located. We aim to provide products that are useful for a variety of people while being socially sustainable and supporting the charity, So They Can, along with the women in Kenya. We have decided to donate 20% of our profit to the Kenyan charity due to bothour values and visions aligning with each other. Their vision is to change the future forchildren living in poverty through education. Our group is very inspired by all of what So They Can have done for the developing communities in Kenya and South Africa.

We are employing the women in Kenya, by partnering with Bibi and Me. Bibi and Me is aside company for So They Can. It provides women with a job and teaches them useful skills at the same time. Bibi and Me usually make jewelry and baskets, all from beads.But recently they have started sewing facemasks as well. We decided to partner with Bibi and Me to design and produce our product because it gives so much to their people and gives our product an authentic African look and feel. This increases the social sustainability of Shanga. We want to enable children in Africa to have an education just like we do.

Our Shanga products include the ‘Shanga Chain’ which is a beaded chain that hooks onto each temple tip of a pair of glasses and a ‘Shanga Lanyard’ which is a beaded lanyard to provide support with keys or nametags. This allows people to have their glasses and keys without the worry of losing them. Shanga Chains come in seven different designs. Having a range of designs available is not the only benefit of purchasing from Shanga,but you can also purchase knowing you are empowering the children in Africa and providing women with a job who helps not only them but also their families and generations to come. Not only are we providing useful products but we are using Shanga to spread awareness.

To buy our products please visit our online store:

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