Meet The Mamas

Abigail Atter

Meet Abigail: Abigail is a perfectionist when it comes to her work, but her true loves are laughing and dancing. Last year Abigail was promoted to Weaving Trainer as she took on a team of 10 novice weavers and taught them to work with water hyacinth fibers. Abigail has also helped to design new products made from the hyacitnth fibers. Her proudest moment since she started working at Global Mamas was when she perfected the woven doormat, a style that Global Mamas had struggled with for years. Not only did she perfect the design but she trained several other weavers to produce it! Since working with Global Mamas Abigail has been able to rent her own apartment, buy a TV and refrigerator, and send her daughter to school. She hopes that one day her daughter will become a lawyer. Abigail is a great leader and is highly respected by everyone she works with!

“I love working with Global Mamas because the work environment is a happy one. Everyone is always kind and cheerful.”

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Aggie Cole Arthur

“To me, prosperity is working hard, improving, and dreaming big. My dreams for my daughter are very big.”

Meet Aggie: A former teacher, she is a lifelong learner. And she instills that value in her family and the workers she employs. In 2000, Aggie set aside six months to learn batiking and since then she hasn’t stopped using her hands to design one-of-a-kind prints. She joined Global Mamas when she needed it most, as her husband’s return to school made Aggie the sole provider for their family. Without losing her positive and helpful attitude, Aggie managed her business, raised her daughter, and studied for classes at the same time. Aggie graduated with a degree in Management from the University of Cape Coast, earning her the Cape Coast Global Mamas Initiative award for 2012. With the daily goal of increasing her business and reaching more customers, Aggie likes to think and dream big. Her impact as a business owner isn’t limited to satisfying her customers, she says.

Aggie takes pride in her ability to employ women to aid in her batiking shop. “So, in a word, I am reducing the unemployment in my country.”

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Alex Odonokor "Happy" Sackey

“Prosperity, to me, is being able to save money to build my house.”

Meet Happy: Happy began learning the family craft of beadmaking when she was eight years old and her family could no longer afford schooling. With more than two decades of experience, Happy is able to create beautiful and intricate beads, her favorite being the blue and green suns she makes for Global Mamas. Since Global Mamas recruited Happy at the local bead market, she has seen her business and life improve. She has been able to start building her own house and pay for schooling for her three children. On the weekends, Happy works on her beads and is part of the Community Bar, a group that cleans the community before church on Sunday mornings.

When asked what she would like to say to the women wearing her beads, Happy says, “I want to thank them for buying beads, and ask them to keep buying more if they like them.”

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Alice Frimpong

“Prosperity means achieving my goals. My major goal is to become an international fashion designer. I would also give back to my society by helping young people in Ghana.”

Meet Alice: A graduate of fashion school, Alice dreams of traveling outside Ghana to learn about fashion trends in other countries. These days, she’s a seamstress at Global Mamas while building her own business, Icelyn Collection, on the weekends. Alice enjoys working with her fellow Mamas because of the learning and support they offer one another. She’s especially appreciated the opportunity to learn how to use a pattern and how to finish a dress using special stitching. Her favorite product to make is the Eli dress—not only does she enjoy sewing it, but she thinks it’s a cute style!

To the women around the world wearing her products, Alice says, “We produce good and high-quality products, so keep buying from us!”

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Alice Korsah

“I will know I have achieved prosperity when I have made enough opportunities for myself to achieve my goals.”

Meet Alice: Invited to partner with Global Mamas in 2005 by one of Global Mamas' former volunteers, Alice is one of the few Mamas who has worked as both a seamstress and a batiker for an extended period of time. To Alice, sewing is both an occupation and a passion. She has earned a strong reputation among her customers for the timely and high-quality products she provides with support from Global Mamas. Sewing is also a family business for Alice, who employs a handful of family members. After a day of sewing, Alice unwinds by listening to gospel music.

“Being a seamstress is not just my job, it is my hobby. I really love it.”

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Amelia Okusia Patrick

Four years ago, a friend introduced Amelia to Eugenia, owner of Naasakle, a Global Mamas shea butter business parter. Soon after, Amelia joined Naasakle and has been working here ever since making our Dandy Lion Black Soap. Originally from Kumasi, Ghana’s second-largest city, Amelia sold fish there to an unreceptive market and eventually came to Accra to find work. She grew up among two brothers and four sisters, and lived with her father's new wife after her mother passed away. Now in Accra, Amelia has four children from ages seven to 18, and is happy to send them all to school.

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Amos Kporshiebu

Meet Amos: Amos manages both the water hyacinth and textile production at our Akuse location in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Thanks to his steady employment with Global Mamas, Amos has been able to realize a lot of his dreams. He has been able to take better care of his family while also supporting several other family members and friends. He is also proud to rent his own house for his wife and daughter. Amos loves the way Global Mamas fights to empower the women in Ghana so that they can become financially independent. “Seeing smiles on the Mamas’ faces is what makes me happy.”

“Global Mamas organizes several trainings for the Mamas each year on topics like computer skills, leadership, and health so that they can learn new things outside of their daily tasks. Global Mamas’ number one priority is to enhance the well-being of their employees, and that is what I like and admire.”

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Anastasia Larvie

Anastasia Larvie couldn’t be happier working for Trashy Bags. Not only is she a fan of the products, but she loves how her work is helping Ghana. After living in Anloga, located in Ghana’s Volta Region, selling kaklo with her mother, Anastasia moved to Accra to be with her father at age 14. He was determined to have her attend school when she came to live with him, which she did. In 2006, Anastasia completed her vocational school training as a seamstress. Now, married and with a child, Anastasia works as much as possible to support her family, and tries to save enough money to visit her mother in Anloga as often as she can. She feels fortunate to have received the opportunity to work with Trashy Bags and has high hopes for the organization’s growth.

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Anthony Horlu

Anthony Horlu’s dedication to quality makes him a perfect fit at Trashy Bags. For Anthony, it’s not just about quality in the product, but quality in education and work. Anthony spent 12 years of his life voluntarily teaching tailoring at a vocational school in Ho, Ghana. The community’s support for the school had dwindled, but he was determined to make sure students received a decent education in a useful trade. When Anthony moved to Accra, he opened a small sewing kiosk. He was often frustrated by his customers’ and employees’ lack of appreciation for quality, but did what he had to do to support his wife and children. Trashy Bags provided Anthony with a loan to send his oldest son, Eugene, to secondary school in Koforidua. He is very thankful for the benefits he has received through the organization. Additionally, Anthony loves the environmental and economical benefits Trashy Bag provides for the community. “Trashy is creating jobs!” he says.

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Augustina Dery

Augustina came to the town of Damongo from Ghana’s Brong-Ahafo Region with her husband and two daughters looking for work farming. She now has five daughters. Although the older daughters have minimal education, as their previous village did not have a school, her three youngest are in various stages of school in Damongo. Augustina is now a widow and supports her three youngest daughters while helping her two older daughters with their young children whenever her finances make it possible. For Augustina, a typical workday starts as early as five in the morning, when she walks nearly three miles to collect shea nuts in a large bowl, which she carries back to town on her head. Through the Christian Mothers’ Association shea butter production, Augustina is now able to earn a higher than market price for the shea nuts she collects. With her income, Augustina is better able to send her daughters to school, and provide them with proper meals and health care.

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“Prosperity is wanting Global Mamas to stay: they help us a lot.”

Meet Barbara: Barbara has been selling her family’s beads with her sister Victoria Angmore Narkie for more than 15 years. Barbara’s market table is adorned with an amazing array of vibrant painted beads. Barbara appreciates how punctual Global Mamas is when paying for and picking up bead orders. Business from Global Mamas has increased her income by 40 percent, which helps her and her husband afford schooling for their two children. Barbara hopes that one day she can start her own bead shop and as well as a business separate from beads.

When asked about what she wants her customers abroad to know about her, Barbara says, “Selling beads is my family way: a tradition that has been passed down from my grandma to my mom and auntie to me.”

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Beatrice Tettey

“Prosperity means owning my shop as a fashion designer with lots of customers.”

Meet Beatrice: Though Beatrice knows how to sew, Global Mamas had a greater need for a quality control staff member and she was hired in this role. Beatrice continues to sew on the weekend, hoping to one day be a Global Mamas seamstress, but it in the meantime she has the important role of making sure finished products are ready to be sold. She says that since she joined the organization, “a lot” of changes have come about in her life—it’s easier to support her children. She hopes to see them both graduate from university and help her daughter realize her dream of becoming a doctor.

To the women around the world wearing the products she’s checked for quality, Beatrice’s message is: “We want Global Mamas to prosper and be big in Ghana. We're working hard so we can achieve this! Thanks for buying our products so we can continue to grow.”

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Belinda  Siatey

“Prosperity means having money and being happy.”

Meet Belinda: Belinda was working in the mobile money industry when her employer went out of business, so she was happy to find a job at Global Mamas. She is proud that she has learned about designing beaded products, especially earrings, and even more so of her personal accomplishments: “Global Mamas has changed my life. It's helped me finish building my grandfather's house, where I now live with my husband and two sons. In the future, I would like to build our own house.” She dreams that her sons, Wisdom and Jonathan, will become a doctor and a soldier, respectively. Working for Global Mamas helps Belinda to afford private school, which provides higher quality education than public school.

“In the future, I want to build my own house, buy a car, and send my children to higher education.”

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Bessie Cramer

“To me, prosperity is dependent on my work. When I have many apprentices training under me, I will be prosperous.”

Meet Bessie: Producing a variety of items such as tablecloths, placemats, napkins, potholders, and headbands, Bessie has a passion for sewing and a passion for Global Mamas. “I love working with Global Mamas because I am always busy,” she said. Part of the organization since 2003, Bessie cannot choose a favorite product that she makes – she likes them all. Providing for her three kids, Bessie not only sends them to school, but also cooks for them. “I like cooking for my children, you know, because everybody likes food. Everybody!” she said. One day, Bessie hopes to move production out of her home and own a shop in Cape Coast.

“I’d rather be working than relaxing. I love being busy, sewing products, never sitting down.”

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Betty Cudjoe

“To me prosperity is not only monetary, but a state of mind. I am not begging. I work for food. I work for clothing. I work for satisfaction. Because of this, I have prosperity.”

Meet Betty: A batiker, Betty started work with Global Mamas after a founding member and close friend introduced her to the organization. Since then, she has always “enjoyed the freedom and dignity” that comes from her work with Global Mamas. While working with the organization, Betty received enough income to help her husband finish building both his house and her workshop. When not batiking, Betty uses colorful beads to handcraft necklaces, bracelets and more.

“As a batiker, I combine colors and designs throughout the day. And then, at the end of the week when the cloth is hanging on the line, you stand at the back and feel very satisfied that you have produced something for people who want your work.”

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Cecilia Dontwi Dick

“To me, prosperity is peace and life. Prosperity is my children finishing education and working.”

Meet Cecilia: Ever since learning to batik in 2000, Cecilia has loved using her hands to create colorful designs. Her favorite batik design is the Global Mamas Daisy Star pattern. Cecilia has experienced business success and growth since partnering with Global Mamas in 2007. She has been able to send her children to high-quality private schools and buy land in the hopes of one day opening a batiking school there. She credits this success to her fair trade training, which she received when joining the organization. “Fair trade taught me how to care for my employees, their health, and the environment.” Cecilia can name and discuss almost all 10 fair trade principles in depth.

“My proudest accomplishment since joining Global Mamas has been acquiring land for my family and business. Being able to pay for my children’s education has also been an accomplishment."

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Cecilia Nkoom

Cecilia Nkoom is a young, single woman. Since joining Global Mamas, Cecilia has many hopes for her work and future growth of her business. As a member of Global Mamas, Cecilia is excited to start saving money so that she can achieve her dream of starting a new business.

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Celestine Arthur

Meet Celestine: Celestine is a fun-loving woman who loves to eat at least one ball of banku a day! She started out as a water hyacinth paper making trainee last year and was quickly chosen by her peers to be the team leader. She likes working with Global Mamas because of the 40-hour a week schedule, which leaves her time to do the other things that she enjoys. “I am happy for the opportunity that Global Mamas has given me because it is helping me send my son to school. I want him to go far in his education and have all the opportunities I did not.”

“I am proud of the skills I've learned, I did not know anything about paper making, but now I can make different types of products.”

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Charity Charway

“To me, prosperity means putting in the time and effort to learn more skills and earn more money. The harder you work, the more that comes to you.”

Meet Charity: After graduating from junior high school, Charity trained as an apprentice to a seamstress for three and a half years. She was sewing out of her home when a friend told her about Global Mamas; she was hired after sewing a perfect Retro dress as part of the interview process. Today, Charity enjoys working in Ashaiman’s team-based model. She’s on the Modern Ladies team, working with her fellow seamstresses to produce products like the Velcro baskets. She looks forward to catching up with her teammates on Monday mornings, discussing episodes of their favorite soap opera. Outside of Global Mamas, Charity and her husband care for their two children, Jennifer and Jonathan. She dreams that her son will become a pilot and hopes that Jennifer will become an engineer.

To women around the world wearing her products, Charity has a practical message: “Your purchases help Global Mamas purchase new sewing machines and continue to grow.”

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Charity Okine

“Prosperity means becoming a globally trained fashion designer with international connections.”

Meet Charity: As a sewing team leader at Global Mamas, Charity has the opportunity to teach her fellow seamstresses new skills. Charity has appreciated the opportunity to learn to make Western-style apparel and home décor in addition to her expertise in traditional Ghanaian clothing. Someday, she hopes to go to the United States to study fashion. When she’s not at Global Mamas, she’s training apprentices in her own shop, called His Majesty Fashion, or singing in her church choir. She and her husband own a home where they live with their son and daughter. Charity enjoys cooking jollof rice, a spicy Ghanaian specialty.

“I want my children to get an education and good jobs so they can take care of my husband and me!”

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