Katie Ray in Tanzania, East Africa.

Aisha at work.

Alumni Katie Ray’s career…

I’ve been working at Neema Crafts as the Design Director for 4 years now.

Neema crafts is an incredible center based in the heartland of Tanzania, which works specifically with people with disabilities.We employ around 110 people with disabilities at our centre, most of whom have been trained to make high quality crafts.

There are so many aspects that I love about my job, but I’ll try and just mention a few.

Firstly I love the design side of my role. At the centre the options are almost endless, we have 8 different departments from weaving, tailoring, screen printing and carpentry.
When you combine all these skills in one place the creative potential is enormous and it’s my job to funnel this into new and exciting designs.

Secondly I’ve loved the challenge of creating a successful business.
Although we are primarily a charity, we believe in order to be sustainable long term we must run as a competitive business. Over the last few years we’ve worked on expanding our markets and building a good reputation across Tanzania based on the quality of our goods.

Finally I love what I do as I am using the skills that I gained on my degree course(BA Hons Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors at Bath Spa University) in a positive way.
We’re working with people that otherwise would most likely be begging on the streets for a living, instead of which they are now making beautiful crafts that are appreciated by the many people that pass through our doors each day.

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This year we’ll be opening our online store in the UK and therefore start increasing our international market.

If you would like to know more about our centre check out our website http://www.neemacrafts.com

Best of luck with all you do and every success with the shop Katie.We can’t wait for it to go live.I have my eyes on a pair of shoes!

2 thoughts on “Katie Ray in Tanzania, East Africa.

  1. When I volunteered in Tanzania a couple of summers ago I visited this place and fell in love! I ended up rebranding their design logo and painting a sign for the exterior of the building. Such a lovely workplace and I remember being in awe of all the textiles and wanting to buy absolutely everything!

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