Another great project by/for women. “Speaking” with Alice Grau from Global Mamas. I really love the idea of knowing the personal stories behind each product. Enjoy it too and check Global Mamas´work here.
Global Mamas – such a great name, who suggested the complete idea?
The name was actually the decision of the original 6 mamas who co-founded the organization. Ma is a term of respect for women in Ghana, often something that the matriarchs of a family are called. Also, all of the women that we work with, whether they are mothers of their own children or not, are the mothers of the creations that they make for Global Mamas and the name is a recognition of how proud they are of the work they do.
300 retailers and many individual improvements. What do you value the most about this project?
We find our value in partnering with the producers to improve their lives through the work that they do as a member of Global Mamas. That is our number one goal. Of course that success has a direct connection to all of our amazing retail partners who help to spread the message an put these wonderful products into the hands of customers all over the world.
Women tend to spend money back on their communities, how does Global Mamas project affected local communities?
All of the women that we work with are purchasing raw materials such as thread, interfacing, sewing machines, water, electricity, etc. From the local markets; this has a positive impact on the economic climate of their community. Many of the women also apprentice or employ other women in their community, ensuring that the opportunity for personal growth goes beyond themselves. And, an accomplishment many of the women are very proud of, they send their children or their nieces and nephews to school, promising a stronger tomorrow in their communities as more individuals pursue higher education because they can afford it.
Our customer are incredibly varied. We have a large retail store in Accra, Ghana that caters to tourists and expats, they love to buy gifts for family back home such as the batik baskets or the ornaments and jewelry as well as clothes for themselves during their time in Ghana – the women and girls dresses are favorites. In the US we have customers that sell exclusively fair trade, from large chains like Ten Thousand Villages to smaller, locally run boutiques. We have farmers markets, home decor stores, fashion boutiques, children’s stores, soap makers and so many more! Some of our best-selling items are our Aprons, Eco Bracelets, Urban Explorer bags, Women´s Retro Dresses, Girls Sundress, and our wonderful shea butter items.
What are your partner organisations like? Are you cooperating with other countries in Africa?
Currently we only partner with other organizations in Ghana. We partner with:
Trashy Bags, who recycle the plastic waste in Ghana into wonderful and useful items such as tote bags and they employ many workers in Accra
Naasaakle, who employ many women in the Northern Region of Ghana where poverty is at the highest numbers and access to work is extremely limited. They produce our bulk, raw unrefined shea butter and our black soap.
Lady Volta Batik, who work with women in the Volta Region to provide them with job training through batik and sewing. They help produce many items for sale in our Accra store and for Export.
We are members of the Fair Trade Federation, World Fair Trade Organization and West Africa Trade Hub/AfricaNOW! Organizations. These are all organizations that have hundreds of global members and we participate in conferences and exhibits with these groups. They help us with promotional events and provide training and other tools for growth. There are many other businesses and organizations within these groups that are our mentors and that we are mentors to. We love the collaborative efforts of the fair trade movement and really enjoy working with other organizations to bring about global change.
Thank you Alice and Global Mamas