A women and youth empowerment project initiated by Children in the Wilderness in collaboration with Jafuta Foundation.

Just as the mopane tree brings optimism to the people and animals of Zimbabwe when the first trees burst into leaf after the long dry season, so too does our range of snare wire jewellery bring hope.

The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU) and the Wilderness Scorpion Anti-Poaching Unit remove over 200 kg of snare wire a year in and around Victoria Falls and Hwange and the surrounding national park areas. The majority of these snares are placed by people who subsist well below the poverty line, poaching to feed families and generate income through selling illegal bush meat and animal products. The mission is to transform these people’s lives through education and skills development programmes. By turning this snare wire into beautiful jewellery products, our hope is they are able to earn incomes and realise the true value of our country’s wildlife resources.

To change this harsh, rusted, and deadly wire into objects of desirable beauty has been a journey into the past for techniques, and now into the future for design. Children in the Wilderness teamed up with local jewellers, Ndau Collection’s team members Joe Mutoka and Ngoni Chivasa, to develop methods of working with the inflexible material. Well-known designer Christie Halsted has now taken the lead, working with Obert Monga, a member of the Ruoko artists’ project, to create a wearable collection of jewellery.

Based at the Jafuta Foundation’s Centers of Hope, they are training a group of young men and women from the vulnerable rural community of Dibutibu to rework the wire into pieces of jewellery. The women of the Batoka Creatives make beaded adornments for the pieces and hope is created from loss.

Every piece of jewellery that you purchase from this range is not only collectable, but in buying a piece, you also support a group of craftspeople who in turn support families and villages. This income injection, together with the environmental educational training, means that the need and desire for subsistence poaching is drastically reduced. A portion of the funds earned is donated back to the anti-poaching teams, to assist in combating the large-scale commercial poaching that is the true threat to our endangered wildlife.

Thank you for being the ‘green leaves’ of our community project!

Recycled iron hand-forged jewellery using traditional Shona blacksmithing techniques.

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