One of the Projects that KGGA is actively involved in is the The Shanzu Transitional Workshop for Disabled Girls which started as a Girl Guide project in Eastern Kenya in 1992.The Workshop enables young women with disabilities to gain skills that enable them to become productive and confident members of the community and society. The Shanzu Transitional Workshop for Disabled Girls in Mombasa, Kenya began when Mrs. Damu P. Shah and other members of the Kenya Girl Guides Association who were passionate about the need to provide education and training to disabled girls.
The girls arrive at Shanzu at the age of 17 to start a two year training program. During their stay they 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 graduates with a tailoring qualification, a sewing machine and personal skills that better equips her for an independent life. Many of the graduates continue to work with Shanzu, producing products for export orders even after completion of their course.
The girls and graduates are paid a share of the profits when their work is sold to tourists and passers-by and now internationally through fair trade organizations. All of the products carry the distinctive Shanzu patch, not hidden inside but proudly sewn where everyone can see it. Girls who were once helpless due to physical disability are able to earn income, pay rent and support their families. This workshop believes that ‘disability is not inability’.
KGGA Shanzu Transitional workshop (STW) for disabled young women provides education and training to empower young women with disability and give them an opportunity to work towards their advancement and well-being.
The specific activities within the workshop include: jewellery & leather work, tailoring, dressmaking, environmental conservation, computer skills, bookkeeping, agriculture and better farming methods and HIV and AIDS awareness. It is a self sustaining project and exports the products abroad.
The Shanzu Transitional Center can comfortably accommodate up to 30 people in the rooms; however, when camping the Workshop can accommodate about 200 people. The workshop has proper sanitation facilities (toilets and drainage), Electricity (solar powered) and adequate supply of water.