Volunteer in Africa

New Product Development Volunteer Opportunities in AfricaNew Product Development


Global Mamas provides sustainable livelihoods for women in Africa by promoting their traditional skills in the production of fair trade products. Each year we produce a new product line and are always seeking the fresh ideas of visiting designers. There are many ways in which we could put your skills to use:

  • Research trends for the coming year and develop concepts.
  • Design & develop new consumer products - home decor, seasonal, ornaments, and accessories.
  • Create new batik textile designs (we will teach you first and then let your ideas run wild).
  • Working side by side with our Mamas, create samples and adjust patterns based on their feedback and realities of production in Ghana (think hand powered sewing machines).
  • Develop and present workshops to improve our Mamas' design and technical skills.

Past New Product Development Projects

Natalie Sturman	- Product Design	 volunteer in Africa

Natalie Sturman
Ipswich, England

When Natalie, a fashion design graduate, arrived in Cape Coast in the summer of 2005 Global Mamas really needed fresh new ideas to expand our textile designs and garments. Natalie's many accomplishments included:

  • Updating Quality Control Specifications for many of the new Global Mamas products.
  • Facilitating two design workshops for both the seamstresses and the batikers.
  • Carrying out several sizing sessions to ensure our clothing was fitting properly.
  • Working closely with all of the seamstresses to update and adjust patterns.
  • Introducing five new children's and adult garments into the new Global Mamas catalog - including the top selling A-line dress.
  • Designing several new textile designs featured on these products.

Natalie's highlight was at a bi-monthly roundtable of the Global Mamas. She had suggested giving an award to one of the women for being hardworking, reliable, and on time. Natalie and other Global Mamas staff decided to give the award to Grace - a Global Mamas seamstress. At the end of the meeting Natalie congratulated Grace on her achievement, and she said to her "It's because of you; I couldn't have done it without you."