Community & Projects

The Maasai Ladies Jewelry Project

The Maasai Ladies Project is a Tanzanite Foundation micro finance project, set up to offer woman who live close to the tanzanite mining area an opportunity to build on their cultural traditions, learn a new craft and earn money to support their families.

The project was first initiated in 2012, using skills taught by renowned jewelry designer and carver Naomi Sarna. Using tools and wire donated by Tanzanite Foundation members and rough tanzanite donated by TanzaniteOne Mining, the ladies have created their own jewelry collection. Learning to work with pliers was new to the ladies, but the project builds upon the Maasai tradition of beaded jewelry making and the stunning results have been well received internationally. Many designs feature the coil as a central motif – symbolizing a woman whose son is a warrior, a prestigious symbol in Maasai society.

The Maasai Ladies Project
Twisting the wire to make the jewelry.
Handmade chain links.
Tanzanite and wire wrapped earrings.
Tanzanite Diamond Ring 2016 Blue Book. Photo credit: Tiffany & Co
The spiral shape refers to a son who is a warrior.

“Got Tanzanite?” – The Blue Balloon Campaign

Using donations gathered at the Tucson Jewelry Show from gemstone and jewelry industry members, much needed school desks were build and gifted to a local primary school.

New Vision Orphanage Expansion

Located in a town close to the tanzanite mining area, the orphanage provides schooling and accommodation to over 400 children, most of whose parents have been victims of the HIV virus. The expanding role means the school required the construction of new class rooms, books and equipment. In a joint effort between the Foundation,TanzaniteOne Mining and industry supporters, over forty thousand dollars were raised to fund this project.

Schools, Health & Community Centers

The Nasinyai Primary School provides an education for 420 children, with The Tanzanite Foundation’s funding and support. Other key community projects have included a Medical Clinic, a Community Centre and a Secondary School for boys and girls.

New desks at Nasinyai primary school.
At the class rooms which Tanzanite Foundation funding helped complete.
New desks - sponsored with funding raised by the Blue Balloon project.
New school books
Balloons from the blue balloon project.
Children at the Nasinyai primary school - funded by the Tanzanite Foundation