The craftsmen working in our workshop are equipped with the latest technology in welding masks. They wear leather gloves and aprons and safety glasses.
We provide the raw materials, 55 gallons drums, car metal sheets, fridge metal pieces, industrial metal scrap and iron rods.
Each product is paid by piecework and a team of welder + his assistant earns $400 to $800 a month for a regular working time (a policeman earns $150 a month).
Making a fair and equitable deal is a difficult undertaking. Overpaying, being completely oblivious to the economic realities like some NGOs do, is in our opinion a big mistake because this is only done on a very small scale and gives a distorted idea of the object’s true market value to the craftsman. What only works ONCE with ONE NGO ends up creating disappointment and poverty; or being “too generous” might be perceived by certain people as a sign of stupidity from which to profit. It is this very balance that is hard to achieve.
Maintaining a high quality standard is an everyday challenge. Indeed, the faster you work, the more money you can earn even if it is at the expense of the quality and the sale of the product. To counter that idea one must show patience and pedagogy to help others understand that working well is more profitable than working fast. The protection of our designs is also a difficulty we face, since a craftsman being able to reproduce a model can easily go do it for someone else (it has happen…) for a little tip.
Then we also suffer water and power cuts, bureaucratic annoyances with the often voracious authorities and other imponderables…
In spite of all this we keep working and moving forward. The atmosphere at the workshop is excellent, joyful, calm and noisy, and above all, the only children around us are the craftsmen’s we accommodate, when their homes are too far away. They go to school every day.
I invite anyone having the slightest doubt about our honesty and the integrity of our endeavour to come visit us in Zimbabwe.
You would have the most wonderful vacation of your life. The country is simply magnificent, not dangerous at all, contrary to what is portrayed in the media. The wildlife parks are huge and virtually without tourists; the Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side are breathtaking and nature ranges from the most arid bush landscape to the greenest meadows.
We commit ourselves to spend a day of our time with every person coming to see us, to show them our workshop and the working conditions, as well as providing assistance and tips to have an truly unforgettable holiday.