During July a group of students visited Tanzania. Amongst them was a textile student from East Ardsley Beth Coggins and she writes:
The major contrast I experienced with textiles between Africa and the UK is involvement. Tanzania is renowned for its bright and bold printed textiles, and the industry creates a variety of job opportunities. For example planting and picking the cotton to be ready to made into fabric, then the heavy machine work which consists of bleaching, dying etc. The men will normally do this as well as the design and colour work. When the fabric is cut and ready to be sold the ladies will correct and sort out the different batches into shops. One can buy this cotton based print fabric for a cheap price, if desired this can later be sold to the tailors. This job role in the UK can be extremely expensive as it’s a bespoke garment which is hand crafted to your figure. In Africa to buy the fabric and have it tailored to you personally is came to roughly £10!
I came to experience how the role of textiles can be life changing especially for young girls as to learn tailoring can be a gate way to a better future from learning a trade to then becoming financially independent. This can have a huge beneficial impact on relieving the pressure for early marriages.
Overall exploring the use of textiles in Tanzania was breath taking from the craftsmanship to the design and the use of vivid lush colours. I greatly valued the experience and will never forget the people I encountered on my stay for their warm welcome and sheer delight in their hospitality.
Our diocesan link with Mara began in 1988. There have been many visits in both directions. Many parishes pray for their link church every Sunday. Schools exchange letters and photos and learn about each other. Clergy training is supported, and agricultural projects are funded. This blog, written by different people, will keep us up to date with life in Tanzania, our relationship with one another, and events happening locally to support our links.