Pearl Farming in East Africa

The goal of the PEARL project (ended September 2010) was to help Tanzanian women and men develop sustainable small business enterprises related to half-pearl farming and jewelry making. The keystone part of the project was a six-week United States fellowship program for 10 Tanzanian entrepreneurs and extension officers. The fellowship included training, internships related to oyster and half-pearl culture and jewelry making, home-stays, field trips and other activities that improved their entrepreneurial skills. A secondary goal was to give the fellows a taste of the New England culture and lifestyle.

The PEARL project had many opportunities for individuals in Rhode Island to volunteer, for example, as home stay hosts and internship hosts. The project also included a half-pearl jewelry design competition and a fundraiser.