Volunteer in Africa

Textile Design Volunteer Opportunities in AfricaTextile Design


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

  • Research trends for the coming year.
  • Learn to batik the Global Mamas way to understand the possibilities and limitations.
  • Sketch, layout and develop new batik stamps.
  • Experiment with dyes to generate new color combinations.
  • Introduce our Mamas to new textile design techniques.
  • Working side by side with our Mamas, create samples and adjust patterns based on their feedback and realities of batiking in Ghana (think foam stamps and coal pots).
  • Document designs, stamps, and dye recipes in our batik library.
  • Develop and present workshops to improve our Mamas' design and technical skills.

Past Textile Design Projects

Brenda Aguilar - Product Design volunteer in Africa

Brenda Aguilar
Managua, Nicaragua

Every year Global Mamas works with design volunteers and interns to create the following year's new product line. It is a long and intricate process that involves many steps: learning the method of batik and developing new stamp designs based on the limitations of the batiking process, creating product specifications to ensure products are made consistently and with high quality, working with the women to develop new samples, etc.
Brenda assisted Global Mamas in many areas:

  • Participated in a group presentation on trend forecasting and potential new stamps.
  • Proposed a refreshing line of Home D├ęcor products.
  • Developed color stories and batik print recommendations for Quilting Kits.
  • Helped with making digital files of existing stamps.
  • Developed and led an information session on Principles and Elements of Design.
  • Designed the floor plan of new Global Mamas sewing workshop in a new community.

Brenda, currently finishing her second BFA in Fibers in the Savannah College of Art and Design, says that volunteering for Global Mamas confirmed the calling she has felt for one day starting her own non-profit in Nicaragua; she knows more now about what it entails to run an organization like Global Mamas. She is also very happy of the outcome of the workshop on Principles and Elements of Design, many women shared with her how much they enjoyed it and how helpful it was. She also really enjoyed the experience of staying with a host family, which allowed her to have a better cultural experience.

"Ghana and Global Mamas have stolen a piece of my heart. My dream is to start an organization like this in my home country of Nicaragua and I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from Global Mamas as well as contribute through volunteering my time and talent."