Located near Mombasa, Kenya, Shanzu Transitional Workshop was established for young women with disabilities in 1992. The young women learn skills that enable them to become productive and confident members of the community and society.
The girls arrive at Shanzu at the age of 17 to start a two year training program. During their stay they receive vocational training, learn production skills and tailoring, as well as gain basic business experience and a vast array of other skills. Upon completion of the two-year training, each girl leaves with a tailoring qualification, a sewing machine and personal skills that better equip her for an independent life.
Many of these girls come from a background that is overshadowed by parents and society who treat them either with shame or merely pity, not allowing them to participate in the day-to-day life of the family and community.
The girls are paid a share of the profits when their work is sold to tourists and now internationally through Fair Trade organizations. All products carry the distinctive Shanzu patch, not hidden away but proudly sewn where everyone can see.