A meeting of minds between Old Bar Men’s Shed and Taree Rotarian, Tanja Curcic’s Little Blue Shed project highlights the global impact that can be achieved when a little time, a little effort and a little love are mixed together.
The essence of the Little Blue Shed project is the furtherance of empowerment and sustainability for women in Uganda, a message Tanja has worked to promote through her latest trip to Australia.
While giving a talk at the Taree Rotary Club, Tanja’s mission caught the ear of president, David Denning, also president of the Old Bar Men’s Shed.
“After Tanja’s talk we spoke about how I was involved in the Men’s Shed, and would love to get involved in the project,” David said.
“We, as a shed, agreed we wanted to make these little wooden sheds as merchandise stands for the project that would be used to sell jewelry.”
David explained the benefit of the shed’s involvement went further than simply supplying a product.
“The benefit of this for our shed is to get involved not only in our local community but in a worldwide sense, extend ourselves,” he said.
“We’ve built 10 sheds so far, now we are modifying the design and trying out different sizes. Once we refine this properly we will start making a lot more.”
For Tanja, who, four years earlier had made strides towards building a relationship with the Men’s Shed organisation, this new collaboration was a dream come true.
“This means so much to Little Blue Shed, I think everything happened at the right time and I think meeting David at Rotary was so exciting because all these plans and memories came flooding back,” she said.
“I feel so grateful to have had the Men’s Shed come on board to help us with this, the wheels are in motion.
“Australia can help Uganda, things we make here and skills we have can be used and passed on to disadvantaged people in other countries.”
But, Tanja’s work to create sustainability and empowerment within the female population of Uganda is far from the extent of her plans.
“It would also be really good to have the men over there learn this and get involved, maybe even start their own men’s shed over there, so the women are making the beads and the men are making the sheds, harmony in the community,” she explained.
“There is a big problem with alcoholism, unemployment and PTSD among the male population of Uganda, people have generally lost hope, so if we can give people something to bring the self-worth that should be felt by every human being, it would mean a lot.
“I’m really excited to see where this is going to go.”