When Mary Brote was a young girl, she would accompany her mother in collecting shea nuts in the Damongo area. She has been a member of the Damongo Christian Mothers’ Association, which runs the shea butter production initiative in Damongo, for many years. In one day's work, Mary can collect enough shea nuts to fill two bags, each bag containing between 80 and 85 kilograms. Mary receives training to collect only the best quality shea nuts, so all her collected nuts can be used to make shea butter. She now has five grown children and has been able to send each of them though senior high school. Although none of her children are living at home anymore, all of her grandchildren live with her. She is their primary caretaker, as her husband has passed away. Mary hopes that her work with the Christian Mothers’ Association will allow her to continue to care for her grandchildren, and ensure they receive a full education, as their parents were able to do.
Meet the Mamas by Technique
Global Mamas dedicates itself to providing sustainable livelihoods for women throughout Ghana. Our Pure Shea butter is produced by women living in one of Ghana’s most economically disadvantaged regions in the North. Located far from Ghana’s capital and the country’s populous coastal areas, the Northern Region is characterized by beautiful savannas—but also suffers from drought and poverty. Global Mamas Pure Shea is produced using sustainable and natural methods that have been passed down through generations. Since the 14th century, women have been working together to collect the fallen nuts of the Karite tree and laboriously transform them into the silken, nourishing and versatile creamy substance known as Shea butter. Global Mamas Pure Shea gives Ghanaian women an opportunity to support themselves and their families in a sustainable partnership with nature.
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.
To produce our Global Beauty Butter we partner with the Christian Mother’s Association (CMA) in Vittin located in the Northern Region of Ghana. Through its partnership with Global Mamas, the women of the CMA have not only had their wages doubled, but a portion of the sales of Global Beauty Butter will go towards the Shea Helps Empower (SHE) Fund. The SHE Fund supports specific, group-driven projects to improve the CMA Shea Butter Cooperative’s production facilities and local community.
Georgina Adaliba, the Coordinator of the CMA Vittin, has been actively involved with the shea processing center since its inception in 1991. She works hard to make sure that the 25 craftswomen have raw materials for work and monitors day to day production so that they are producing consistently high quality shea butter.
In the late 1970s, Mary and her husband came to Damongo from Navrongo, in Ghana’s Upper East Region. Before coming to Damongo, Mary had never collected shea nuts before, but she began working in Damongo Christian Mothers’ Association’s shea butter production shortly after arriving. Her family now use this source of earnings to subsidize their income. Mary has given birth to seven children, two girls and five boys, two of whom sadly died young. She is also a proud grandmother of one granddaughter. Through working with Christian Mothers’ Association and its partnership with Global Mamas, Mary has been able to earn a fair wage above the national minimum. She hopes to use this improved and stable income to help pay for the education of her younger children and her granddaughter.