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Before - and by  young women in Mwanza (Tanzania)

The LULU project helps young women in Tanzania discover their talents, become stronger and set up small businesses. LULU means PEARL in Swahili, the language of East Africa. LULU is active in and around the city of Mwanza on Lake Victoria, where many girls do not have the opportunity to complete school and become pregnant as teenagers.

The project offers training in social skills, learning to deal with money and taking care of yourself and your family. This makes the young girls discover that they - just like a pearl - are of value. Additional craft lessons give them the skills to make their own gems of products that they can sell and earn money in a creative way. 

The unique thing about the setup is that the training is given by the experienced girls themselves (also called 'mentors'). We currently have 11 groups spread across the city, each guided by two or three mentors. Each group consists of approximately 20 girls aged 15 to 25 who receive one year of training. They meet two afternoons a week in a self-organized location (for example in a classroom, church, or vacant storage space). They start the afternoon with needlework and then training on a specific subject.  Our 11th group consists of women who are deaf or hard of hearing. They are guided by a mentor who speaks sign language. We organize craft workshops, have a business club, and do external workshops on 'maternal & mentrual health' on request (at schools or women's (sports) clubs) where we distribute our homemade washable panty liners for free.   

In the video below you will learn more about our project. With a special call at the end; will you help build a workshop space for LULU?  






The year was 2013 and during a mentors meeting, a lot of thought was given to a name for the project. One of the girls said 'LULU! Then we can draw a hand with a pearl in it!' LULU means pearl in Swahili. And how special, the Bible also talks about pearls in Matthew 13 verses 45-46, where you can read that 'we are to God, as very precious pearls are to a merchant. God is willing to give up everything for us, even His Son, to have us people close to Him.'

The story behind the name

LULU - flyer (Dutch)

Voorzijde - Nederlands
Achterzijde - Nederlands

LULU - flyer (English)

Voorzijde - Engelstalig
Achterzijde - Engelstalig
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