Volunteer in Africa

Fair Trade Volunteer Opportunities in AfricaFair Trade


Global Mamas provides sustainable livelihoods for women in Africa by promoting their traditional skills in the production of fair trade products. We work to embody fair trade principles in all that we do and are always striving to do more. Fair trade projects may include:

  • Train our new Mamas in the principles of fair trade.
  • Implement our fair trade assessment program to ensure our Mamas meet or exceed fair trade requirements within their individual companies.
  • Work one-on-one with our Mamas to develop and implement action plans to address any areas in which there is room for improvement.
  • Assess Global Mamas against the principles of fair trade and identify ways in which we can improve our own practices.
  • Interview our Mamas and document ways in which fair trade through Global Mamas has impacted their lives. Create stories, videos, and photos to help us educate partners, donors, and consumers.

Past Fair Trade Projects

Mary, Katherine & Lauren Panke - Product Design	volunteer in Africa

Mary, Katherine & Lauren Panke
Arlington, Virginia

This awesome team of a mother and two daughters helped Global Mamas develop new textile batik patterns to use for products in the new catalog. They also helped Global Mamas in the following ways:

  • Introduced a “tube top” concept that was used for three new products in the Global Mamas line
  • Attended a batik class to learn the logistics of batiking process to prepare them to develop new designs.
  • Created a new textile design, the “sunburst”, that was a best-seller for Global Mamas for many years.
  • Worked closely with seamstresses and quality control managers to perfect the design and production for each garment.

Although none in this mom-daughters team considered themselves "designers", they were amazed at what was accomplished in less than two weeks. They learned what it felt like to be one step in a process of very efficient, organized, and creative teamwork. After introducing some creative fashion ideas, they were excite to see it all come to fruition - ideas passed along, seamstresses putting them to fabric, quality control checking back with them on sizing and style choices, and other volunteers and office staff helping with feedback.

"Not only did we bring back an appreciation for the openness and warmth, the talent, the sights, tastes, sounds, and smells of a wonderful culture, but we brought back a newfound appreciation for what can be accomplished when someone believes in you, and everyone pitches in to make good things happen."