We are currently working with one producer partner in Mozambique in Africa. In the past we have worked with other producers and they have been included at the end of this page for additional information.
For a number of years Rainbow Turtle has been supporting a small business in Maputo, Mozambique. Although making huge progress after years of civil war, Mozambique remains one of the poorest counties in Sub- Saharan Africa with high unemployment, low literacy and short life expectancy. Thanks to the support of our Friends, the project has grown and is now a joint enterprise between Projecto Wesleyana – who aim to provide training and employment for local artists and tailors – and Rainbow Turtle.
Pedro Langa is the principle artist and when we first met Pedro he was living a precarious existence in a tin hut with no regular means of income. He is a talented artist and we support him by developing his designs and products and providing markets for them. These include greetings cards made from recycled materials, hand painted clerical stoles and bespoke banners for organisations.
Rainbow Turtle recognises that in order to build up his business to a level where it is self-sustaining and able to expand to employ more people a greater level of support is required. The charity has pledged £1,500 for 3 years as grants to buy materials and to pay for basic living costs to allow more time to be spent on product development.
“I am a Mozambican, I live in a country like any other country. The difference is that when we wake up, we never know if it will be dark or bright. Things change without warning, It is an unstable life, I fight hard to survive. The support from Rainbow Turtle has been helpful and working with them is a pleasure. There are things which I doubted I would achieve but today my son goes to school, I live in a proper house and they gave me a hand when I was sick and I should say thank you”.
We receive support through the Friends of Rainbow Turtle programme and through donations to continue with this work – to develop a workshop, find new markets for products and create a sustainable business.
In the past we have also worked with producer partners in Nicaragua and Rwanda. You can read about their projects below.
Familias Especiales (Special Families) is a Nicaraguan voluntary organisation based in Matagalpa which supports women and their families where there is a family member with a disability. Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Central America and there are few services for people with disabilities. We began the partnership with Familias Especiales since 2007, initially selling their hand painted cards in our shop.
From 2008 – 2011 Rainbow Turtle pledged Familias Especiales a development grant of £1500 per year to support their arts and crafts programme for over 50 young people with a disability. The project uses recycled materials to produce cards, bags, packaging and piñatas which are mainly sold locally in Matagalpa. At Rainbow Turtle’s request they also produce paper packaging trays for us in two sizes which we use for making gift packs of chocolate, sweets, jams etc. Recently they started making small crosses/bookmarks for us; these are proving popular for individuals, groups and special events, and are available via our online store.
Familias Especiales still makes a real difference to people’s lives by offering income, development of social and work skills and educational opportunities as well as support to health and well being. It is organised and run by the mothers themselves.
Comfort Rwanda worked in partnership with Solace Ministries which was run by survivors of the 1994 genocide and provided widows and orphans with income generating opportunities. Any extra profits were used to finance further partnership projects in Rwanda. Rainbow Turtle began supporting Comfort Rwanda in March 2012 which helped to develop and maintain their website for the sale of crafts from Kamonyi, Ndera and Gatenga. We also provided a market for them through the Rainbow Turtle shop.
Rainbow Turtle has pledged grants in support of these programmes. We are committed to working in partnership with producers from the developing world, providing much needed employment. Products can be bought knowing that hope and dignity have been brought to the communities that produce them.