St. Bartholomew’s Kirby Muxloe
More about Ben and Katy
We support Ben & Katy Ray
St. Bartholomew’s church supports Ben and Katy Ray’s work at Neema Crafts at Iringa in Tanzania. This project started back in 2003 by Andy and Susie Hart is essentially to bring employment to disabled people. The initial work by Andy and Suzie organised the building of a café and a workshop both to be run by disabled staff. The café was run by deaf employees using sign language to communicate and the workshops by physically disabled employees.  At that time employing disabled people was unknown in Tanzania and training sessions had to be organised for the staff since vey few had any experience. The plan was also to build a small hotel for visiting guests.
Ben and Katy, with links to Leicestershire took over responsibility for the project in 2011 and the hotel is now completed and taking regular guests. The café even became the ‘best café in the world’ through a competition organised by a national newspaper in 2012!  The project now employs over 100 disabled Tanzanians. The workshops have grown in size and variety of goods with the products now sold locally and nationally in Tanzania as well as on line at www.neemacrafts.com or twitter:@neemacrafts1 Neema Crafts has become an effective employer and is now able to help its employees contribute to the building of their own homes. Houses are being built that are appropriate to their needs and with facilities that match their requirements with about 10 homes having been built to date.  Regular classes are held to help disabled people, young and old, to strengthen their limbs and provide exercises to improve mobility. The centre now employs a physiotherapist and chaplain. Ben and Katy Ray are now the parents of two young children. Regular updates from them, of their children and of their work are received by St Bartholomew’s church and we support them with funds and our prayers.