We are very excited to announce the newest member of our staff, Amber Derocher. Amber’s position is Design and Sales Manager. She is creative, hardworking, enthusiastic, an excellent team player, and very social; perfect qualities for this position! Her role is to review and update the current Shanga shop, workshop, and product designs, and to generally oversee Shanga sales.
Amber was born in the United States, where she lived for three years prior to moving abroad. Her growing up years were spent in France, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, and Kenya. Growing up was quite an adventure for her!
She attended and graduated high school in Nairobi, Kenya, and later joined Hope College in Michigan, USA. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree, she then returned to Kenya where she taught at Rosslyn Academy. The following years were spent volunteering and working in various capacities in the United States, Thailand, and Tanzania. Throughout her travels, she spent time appreciating and participating in various forms of creative expression around the world.
During a previous visit to Arusha, Amber heard about Shanga through Sarah Rejman, the director and founder of Plaster House. One day, Sarah told her “I think you have just the right kind of magic for Shanga”. Prior to her conversation with Sarah, Amber knew nothing about Shanga, and therefore immediately planned a visit to Shanga for a tour from our guides. Upon her arrival to Shanga, and after meeting all of the beautiful people and seeing their creative expression, she thought, “I have to work here”, and here she is today, our very own designer!
Her goal is to learn more about Shanga and what it means to have a disability in the context of Shanga, and in the greater Tanzanian community. She hopes all the new things she learns will further inspire a creative, understanding, inviting, and beautiful place to work and to visit. She is also eager to work together with the talented Shanga staff to create unique, appealing products that further share the Shanga story. She is currently learning Swahili and Sign Language to help her to communicate better with everyone at Shanga.
Fun Facts about Amber:
· Amber loves to write.
· Amber loves all forms of creative expression.
· Amber’s favourite type of design is interior design. In the last week, she redesigned her office, which now looks welcoming and well organized!
· Amber’s passion for designing began when she was little, as she was very imaginative and creative. Her love for artistic expression further grew when she took a drawing class during her first semester of university.
· Amber loves that Shanga is an organisation that understands the importance of providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities, through creative expression.
If you’d like to get in touch with Amber, feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope everyone will enjoy working with her as much as we do. As kindred spirits, we warmly welcome Amber to Shanga and can’t wait to see her contributions to the team come to life! Karibu sana!