For Iron I Gave Gold foundation has been set up in June 2018 and acts in favour for children living in poverty and to fight child labour. The foundation’s goal is to enable the education of children/youths working in artisan gold mines. We focus on the region of Kahama, northern Tanzania, where we collaborate and work closely with the local NGO* Rafiki Social Development Organisation. 

The foundation’s name** and philosophy is based on keeping a discourse about the re-interpretation of contemporary values and the possible exchange between material, social a.o. values.
Therefore, For Iron I Gave Gold donations are about giving something of value to receive something of different value back: to give a teenager, working in a gold mine, the chance for a better life. Our goal is to provide these youths the necessary education to become independent and to gain sustainability with their new skills.  

The foundation has been founded by Antoinette Vonder Muehll who is a Swiss artist and museologist. With her pilot project in 2017, she sold iron rings for the value of gold. The full profit was used for offering 10 youths between 13-17 years old from the gold mine Mwakitolyo to follow a vocational training as tailor or electrician. Some of these iron rings can still be purchased, see more information here.

How We Work

We initiate projects related to the history and meaning of values and how we can transform and look at them from different angles. These projects can have had different forms such as objects, events, discussions, a.o. and their profit will be used exclusively for our donation programme. The production/organisation of these objects/projects are 100 percent externally funded/sponsored.

Our donation programme runs through the whole year.
Until 2022, children were selected through a selection process depending on their family situation and willingness to start a vocational training in tailoring/electricity or mechanics. Our partner NGO in Tanzania, Rafiki Social Development Organisation (SDO) conducted the selection through their social workers and in collaboration with the local government. The number of children who could start a training programme of one year depended on the available funds from donations.

The children started their vocational training in January with 2 evaluation terms through the year. At the end of the education, they will be sufficiently trained to start their own sustainable business. Rafiki follows-up on the graduated children and we support the children’s collaboration that can lead to associative/cooperative working groups, sharing their costs.
By the end of 2022, almost 40 youth have been trained in tailoring and electricity.

Since 2023, we have launched a new project, in collaboration with Rafiki SDO, Wilde Ganzen Foundation and Sengerema Foundation/YEP Tanzania. Together, we will support the creation of a YBC (Youth Business Centre) in Nyangarata mining village where youths will get tailoring training in tailoring and further will be trained in business and soft skills. Goal is that the youth will run the YBC themselves after 3 years in 2025.

*Non Governmental Organisation
**The foundation’s name originates from the historical context ‘Gold I Gave For Iron’ which was one of the original campaign slogans – such as ‘Gold gab ich zur Wehr, Eisen nahm ich zur Ehr’ (Gold I gave for protection, iron I took as honour) – during the First World War. People of the German state were asked to donate their gold for war material and to support families in need. As a thank you they received iron rings, brooches or medals. A similar event happened in the time of Princess Marianne from Prussia during the war against Napoleon. 

Stone with gold inclusions in a gold mine in Geita, Tanzania.

"Tailoring activity has kept me close to the community, through tailoring I get customers who come from outside the area where I live and provide me with income. For the future, I wish to become a businesswoman and been recognized in different areas. Youth Business Centre is important for me because I have successfully learned various trainings including business coaching where I have been able to identify variable and fixed costs. I have also learned Sexual Reproductive Health education where I realized that youth should be safe and healthy both physically and mentally." Paschazia Joseph, tailoring entrepreneur at YBC

More testimonials...

Donation Programme 2024

To support our new Youth Business Centre project in the  mining village Nyangarata, you can donate in three ways! Read here some testimonials from participants since 2023

1)  Any amount of donation via below bank details or paypal (mail@forironigavegold.com)
2)  Purchase of a gold/iron product - find them listed here.
3)  Donation of gold that you don’t need anymore and that we can recycle and use for making new products. If  you have old gold pieces that you wish to donate, please get in contact via mail@forironigavegold.com

Triodos Bank
Stichting For Iron I Gave Gold
IBAN: NL28 TRIO 0379 3364 64

We are very thankful for your support!

With your support, we can provide the necessary funding to build-up in the coming years a save place for young tailors. Your donation is fully and directly used to give the youths a chance to become independent in a healthier environment and a better future. 

What will happen in 2024:
  • Rafiki SDO, our project partner NGO, will continue to coordinate and supervise the project, its workshops in tailoring, batik, decoration, basket making and sexual reproductive health. YEP Tanzania will further conduct workshops in business, life and empowerment skills. 
  • 4 youths starting a vocational training in electrical installation in a nearby college.
  • 5 - 7 participants will learn different design and tailoring techniques, as well as following business, life skills and empowerment trainings.
  • All participants will pay contribution of rent and running costs for YBC from July on.
  • YBC is a place for youth to experience and develop collective business in tailoring and further learn how to teach to other youths basics of tailoring, basket making or batik.
  • YBC will strengthen and include all members in a environment of working and learning together. 

In 2025, the YBC will be fully in hands of the young tailors, supported by the local government, parents and members of the community. 

Our foundation has the Dutch ANBI stichting status, meaning that donations can be deducted from taxes. For more information about the advantages of ANBI donations, please see here.

May 2023, new YBC in Nyangarata. The building is for training and workshop facility for tailoring, business and soft skills as well as a shop. The plan is to make it fully running by the users by the end of 2025. (photo credit: Queen Gerald, Rafiki SDO)

Donation Programme for 2021/22

With donations from 2021/22 we could implement:
- To end child labour and give another group of children (12-17 years) working in small gold mines a vocational training in either tailoring, electricity or mechanics.
- To support the students after their vocational trainings with workshop facilities, tools and materials necessary to start their work as tailors or electricians.
- NEW: we will support workshops for children after the training to acquire necessary business and soft skills to run their business.
This is made possible in collaboration with Dutch foundation Sengerema/YEP in Tanzania who will organise the workshops and with whom we are planning a larger collaboration in 2022.
- To cover the costs of a part-time social worker from the local NGO Rafiki SDO who works for us on the implementation of the programme. Among others, she discusses with children and families if a vocational training is suitable, visits them while they are in the school programme, organises their journeys, monitors the development of the project and writes reports for us.

Donation Programme 2020/21 

With donations from 2020 we could implement:
- Another group of 10 students to do a vocational training in 2021.  
- Tools needed for start-up (so far electrical and tailoring equipment)  
- To further support the alumni of former years and check regularly that their business continues, evt. supporting them with tools.
- To cover the costs for a part-time socialworker of the local NGO Rafiki SDO. 
- We could not support a second year vocational training to some of the children, those showing most commitment and motivation. But one tailor student finished the vocational training as the best and received a scholarship from the Tanzanian government to study a second year. 

Donations were given by either:
- Private donations supporting the project.
- Through purchase of a bracelet or recycled gold and iron ring, designed by Antoinette Vonder Muehll. You can find more information here. The full amount of these purchases is used for the vocational training programme. 

tailoring workshop for the students who graduated from vocational training programme 2019.

Donation Programme 2019/20

Thanks to generous donations and through purchases of the rings, we were able to collect enough funds needed for another group of 10 students to start their vocational trainingin January 2020. Also we could cover a part-time social worker of the local tanzanian NGO Rafiki-SDO. The person will be responsible for the implementation of the programme. She selects the children and discusses with families and local authority, visits them while they are in the school programme, writes reports and monitors the project for us. 

Children selected for the 2020 programme on their way to College. In total 7 girls,  Anitha, Naomi, Margreth,Joyce, Suzana,Justina and Dotto and 3 boys - Efrend, Francis and Daud will follow the training programme in tailoring, electrical installation and masonry at Mwanhala College, Tanzania. 

Donation Programme 2018/19

Through generous donations, 10 children (14 - 17 years old) working in the gold mines Kalole or Nyangarata near Kahama, Tanzania, could follow the one-year vocational training at Mwanhala Focal Development College from January - December 2019. They could chose a profession that is locally needed (such as tailoring (for girls), electricity, motor vehicle mechanics, masonry) enabling them to sustain and live under better conditions instead of being exposed to the extremely poor, exploitative, dangerous and unheathy life in the gold mines. There were 8 girls and 2 boys taking the tailoring course. 

The donations went fully and directly to the children’s needs, including: school fees, uniforms, school material and/or start up tools (f.ex. sewing machine), food and accommodation during their stay at the College. This is monitored and coordinated locally by the NGO Rafiki SDO (see Collaborations).

graduated children from vocational training in tailoring, Dec 2019 

visiting the children in tailoring course at Mwanhala Focal Development College, Aug/Sep 2019

 Boy working at Mwakitoloyo gold mine, close to Kahama, Tanzania. 

Children from Mwakitoloyo gold mines during their vocational training in June 2018.


Projects / Products 

Our foundation organises projects – online or at specific locations – discussing our value system with new perspectives. All our projects support the funding programme with the goal to raise money for youths currently working in artisan gold mining to provide them with vocational trainings, workshops in business and soft skills or becoming trainers themselves. 
All our products are hand made and until now, 100% of the profit of sales supports the project to re-educate youths currently working in artisan gold mines. All the products are made of iron and recycled gold.

New project 2024 in the making, look at iron, feel the gold! 
coming early spring!

irOn gOld Ring(s)

The ring(s) is made of one recycled iron ring and one recycled gold ring, assembled with a golden hinge/rivet. When opening the rings, PRECIOUS reads on the iron ring. The ring measures appr. 3 x 3mm and comes in a cardboard packaging with a rubber band.

You can chose the correct ring size (ring diameter in mm) in the dropdown menu below. To measure the correct size, it is advised to use an existent ring and to measure the inside diameter or to check the ring size with a goldsmith.

Price if you order from Europe / worldwide:

Price if you order from within the Netherlands (it incl. 21%btw):

IRONGold Bracelets 

These simply twisted iron bracelets origin from a Massaï market in Mwanza, Tanzania. They are thinly gilded (3-5micron) with 18ct gold. Some of the gold will gradually fade away in time but its value will never disappear. 
Each is different, in either size or design, and there is a limited edition of 13. Please see below how prices and sizes (the bracelets remain open, therefore adjustable).
And if you like the combination of the two materials, you can also choose additionally a pure iron one.
If you want tor reserve one or have any questions about it, please send us an email to: mail@forironigavegold.com
You can pay safely by credit card on this site via the below options or via PayPal to mail@forironigavegold.com.

100% of the profit from these bracelets will be used to support children working in gold mines in northwestern Tanzania, offering them a vocational training 2021 to learn a safe and sustainable profession.


Price if you order from outside the Netherlands:

Price if you order from within the Netherlands (incl. 21%btw):

Additional IRON bracelet (only purchasable with a gilded one):

For Iron I Gave Gold - FE AU rings

These recycled gold/iron rings can be purchased in support of children in goldmines who will receive a vocational training in the region of Kahama/Shinyanga, Tanzania.
The rings intertwine ordinary iron with precious (recycled) gold creating a contrast of values. Handmade by Antoinette Vonder Muehll, autumn 2019.

You can chose the correct ring size (ring diameter in mm) in the dropdown menu below. To measure the correct size, it is advised to use an existent ring and to measure the inside diameter or to check the ring size with a goldsmith.

Price if you order from outside the Netherlands:

Price if you order from within the Netherlands (incl. 21%btw):

To measure the correct size, it is advised to use an existent ring and to measure the inside diameter.

For Iron I Gave Gold - Amsterdam October/November 2017 – 18

The first project under the title of For Iron I Gave Gold took place in 2017, initiated and organised by Antoinette Vonder Muehll, artist and founder of this foundation. She presented For Iron I Gave Gold with the aim to expand our perspectives on value exchange and substitute a materialistic value for a humane one: The full profit from self-made iron rings, sold for the corresponding price in gold, made possible the educational re-integration of 10 children working in artisan gold mines.

Two events took place in Amsterdam to present the rings. The first event was in the setting of the 17th-century mercantile environment of The Merchant House with a talk by Olav Velthuis, Professor at the Department of Sociology of the University of Amsterdam, specialized in economic sociology, sociology of the arts and cultural sociology. Velthuis’s talk complemented Vonder Muehll’s presentation and discussed/explored how contemporary art can reflect critically on economic values.

The second event took place at Prins Claus Fund in the temporary setting of Pages Bookstore Café. It was dedicated to social and humane values and Michele Robecchi, independent curator, artist and editor at Phaïdon London gave an exciting talk and discussed with the public the use of social and humane values in artistic production, reflecting on their possible positive and negative impact. Projects that radically extend, push, cross and change the borders of social values and provoke or discuss new ways of engagement between art and society.  From Adrian Piper’s project Probable Trust Registry to Theaster Gates’ Stony Island Bank over Mark Bradford’s Art+ Practice, Christoph Büchel’s Icelandic Pavillion in 2015 and many more, each of these projects provokes or seeks a different social impact within our society.

Each ring comes in a package with a hidden magnet holding the ring in place. The printed photo on textile was taken during the visit in an artisan gold mine near Kahama, Tanzania. The man weighting the extracted gold shows some small nuggets, accumulated through the long and hard labour process of extracting it in the end from mercury.
Please be aware that these iron rings can change colour through ageing.

Some rings are still available. See below a list of available rings. The price of each ring is calculated by its weight in gold with an updated gold price from 24 September 2019 at €44.64/g.

If you are interested in purchasing a ring, see below left options and contact us on mail@forironigavegold.com

Available rings

Collaborations and Partners

Rafiki Social Development Organisation

Our foundation works together with a local NGO in Tanzania, Rafiki SDO, recommended by Human Right Watch and Terre des Hommes.

Rafiki Social Development Organisation is based in Kahama and Shinyanga, Tanzania. Founded in 2005, Rafiki SDO is a development and advocacy NGO working with children, youth, marginalized and vulnerable groups, families and their communities to reach their full potential by advocating for their rights and tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

Rafiki works in the poorest area in northwestern Tanzania and where most of the gold mines are located. Since a lot of people from the whole country move there in order to find work (80% of people are peasants in Tanzania), AIDS, poverty and child labour are one of the biggest problems to fight. Besides their AIDS programme for women and children, Rafiki has a programme to fight for children’s right for education and to give them another future than the unhealthy and dangerous working conditions in smaller gold mines. Children are exploited by having little income and long working hours quarrying stones, digging down pits, washing the powdered stone (where they are in contact with mercury) and operating stone crushers. From 2017-22, our project’s goal was to withdraw them from the mining activity and provide them again an education in form of a vocational training (tailoring, motor vehicle maintanance or electrical installation). Since 2022, we are focusing on the afterlife of their training, and how they can set up sustainable business in their village. Sengerema Foundation and YEP Foundation support us by implementing business and soft skills workshops for former students. 

The project has been implemented in mainly 4 artisan gold mines in the area of Kahama (Iyenze, Kalole, Nyangarata, Mwakitolyo). 2017-22, the project was exclusively funded by For Iron I Gave Gold foundation.  Since 2023, we have started a joint funding collaboration between For Iron I Gave Gold and Sengerema Foundation, Wilde Ganzen as funding partners to build-up a Youth Business Centre.

Sengerema Foundation
For Iron I Gave Gold has started a collaboration with Sengerema Foundation since we both look for a similar impact on youth in Tanzania. Sengerema Foundation is a small foundation, but with a major impact on the future of young people in Tanzania. From the Netherlands they organize education and training for young people in Tanzania who are going to start their own business. They support them with start-up capital and coach the young entrepreneurs during the first five years.

YEP Tanzania
Yep Tanzania is the local organization funded by Sengerema. This NGO takes care of the activities and their trainers are often self-trained entrepreneurs who have the talent to implement training programs. YEP Tanzania will implement most of the workshops at the new Youth Business Centre project, funded in 2023. 

Wilde Ganzen                                                                                             
Wilde Ganzen supports social changemakers all over the world that fight inequality and poverty. They do this by supporting and funding small-scale projects and promoting community philanthropy.

Workshop participants at Nyangarata Youth Business Centre, July 2023 (photo credit: Queen Gerald)

Participants at Nyangarata Youth Business Centre, June 2023 (photo credit: Queen Gerald)

Visiting an installationin made by children from electrical vocational training, Aug/Sep 2019

Visiting vocational training students in Aug/Sep 2019

Rafiki team and Antoinette Vonder Muehll in front of Rafiki’s office at Kahama

Child working in one of the four local artisan gold mines near Kahama (Mwakitoloyo)

Map of Tanzania showing the gold mine area in the north west of the country

Mwakitolyo gold mine near Kahama

Visit of Rafiki team and A.Vonder Muehll at Mwakitolyo gold mine, January 2017



For Iron I Gave Gold foundation is based in Amsterdam, NL and has a Dutch ANBI status. The foundation is composed of three board members that all perform their duties on a voluntary basis and do not receive any salary or other reward for their performed work. The board members are entitled to a statutory expense allowance for costs linked to their duties.

The foundation does not employ any paid staff. It this would change, it will be stated here and made transparent in the annual financial report.

Board Members:
Antoinette Vonder Muehll, Amsterdam - initiator and chair of board
M. Flotron, Amsterdam - treasurer
Ellert Haitjema, Amsterdam - secretary 

Our contact details:
contact person:
Antoinette Vonder Muehll

KvK registration n°: 71923926
RSIN : 8589.05.577

Our bank details:
Triodos Bank
Stichting For Iron I Gave Gold
IBAN: NL28 TRIO 0379 3364 64