Batiking & Sewing Center (Cape Coast)
Aggie Cole Arthur, a Global Mama since 2005

“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.”

 
Alice Korsah, Co-Founder, a Global Mama since 2003

“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.”

 
Bessie Cramer, a Global Mama since 2004

“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.”

 
Betty Cudjoe, a Global Mama since 2009

“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.”

 
Cecilia Dontwi Dick, a Global Mama since 2007

“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."

 
Charlotte Bart-Plange, a Global Mama since 2005

Charlotte Bart-Plange has been dedicated to a career since she first took sewing classes in elementary school, and after 35 years of being a seamstress Charlotte still says, “I love it.” This Mama enjoys exploring her creative side as a seamstress by inventing new designs and adding unique touches to each of her pieces. Though this range of talent attracts a broad client base, it was the additional income and support from Global Mamas that allowed Charlotte to send her son to University. She beams when she says her son graduated in Finance and now holds a good job in Accra. Now Charlotte wants to help even more people, telling us that, “I would like to make my hometown nice and beautiful.”

 
Christiane Ahouassou, a Global Mama since 2006

“To me, prosperity is something everyone can achieve; it is being successful and reaching your goals.”

 

Meet Christiane: Per a friend’s suggestion, Christiane applied for a position at Global Mamas after completing high school. She began as a quality control champion, and has since been promoted to quality control manager. Her job is to make sure the office is tidy and everyone else is doing their job correctly and efficiently – she is responsible for seven employees! Working for Global Mamas has taught her many skills: not only does she know how to check clothes for quality, but she also has learned how to socialize and has made many friends through the Global Mamas family. As a hobby, Christiane loves to make her own batik desigs. She hopes to one day become a food caterer (she especially loves banku and okro stew). She also hopes to see her young daughter grow up, complete tertiary school, have a better life, and become a Mama like herself!

 

“To all the women around the world who support Global Mamas, I would like to say a biiiiiig thank you for buying and wearing our products and making us proud!”

 
Christina Pufuaba, a Global Mama since 2011

“To me, prosperity is when you are hardworking. If you are not hardworking, you cannot prosper. You will be the same as you were.”

 

Meet Christina: Christina identifies deeply with her work; when asked to describe herself in one word, Christina simply answered “batiker.” After schooling, she was employed to batik under another Global Mama. Through skill and hard work, she was able to join Global Mamas herself in 2011. Her favorite pattern to produce is pineapple, saying “If you give me thousands of yards that need to be pineapples, I will do it in one week for you. I love that design!” Christina’s proudest accomplishment is saving enough money to purchase a tin roof for her batiking workshop, allowing her to stamp patterns in the rain. In her free time, Christina loves to visit the elderly of her church and sing to them.

 

“I dream for my children, I’ll help them during their education to help them go higher. I work for my children.”

 
Comfort Pufaba Yakubu, a Global Mama since 2006

Comfort is only 26, but she has already set up her own sewing business, Prince of Light. By the time she arrives for work at 9 am, the one-room workshop has been opened and swept by her two apprentices – Hannah and Sarah. Their workbenches and hand-driven sewing machines spill out of the room onto a tiny shaded verandah. The premises of Prince of Light may be small but Comfort is proud to own – not rent – the workshop.

At the moment, Comfort divides her time between making tops for Global Mamas and private commissions. She enjoys designing her own clothes, but the walls of the workshop are plastered with posters of different styles for customers to choose from as well.

Evenings are generally spent at home with her mother and sister. Supper is normally a bowl of tuo zafi, a traditional Ghanaian food staple Comfort calls TZ . It's a doughy mixture of ground maize, ground cassava, and water served with a vegetable-based stew. After supper, Comfort particularly enjoys watching Nollywood movies, straight-to-video films produced in rapid turnover in Nigeria. When she's not watching TV, Comfort enjoys listening to Gospel music and spends all of Sunday mornings at her local Catholic church.

 
Cynthia Essiaw , a Global Mama since 2009

“I will know I have achieved prosperity each and every year! At the end of each year, I will look at my accomplishments and find what I have done that year to be prosperous.”

 

Meet Cynthia: A Mama since 2010, Cynthia is a seamstress that specializes in making men’s fitted shirts. She went to school for some time after joining Global Mamas, taking time to learn high-quality stitching. Through her time working with the organization, she has been able to support her younger sister through secondary education. She describes herself as “calm,” and is quick to laugh and make a joke. “If I could talk to someone across the world that is wearing my clothes,” she said, “I would tell them they look good!” Cynthia enjoys cooking palm nut soup and attending church with her husband.

 

“I push myself towards perfection in my stitching; sewing for Global Mamas has made me a better seamstress.”

 
Deborah Ababio, a Global Mama since 2011

“To me prosperity is working hard. When you do your work, you prosper. Global Mamas has helped because at the end of the day, I have more profit.”

 

Meet Deborah: Deborah grew up in a community of seamstresses and came to Global Mamas at the recommendation of her friend, a fellow Mama. Now, Deborah creates gift and laundry bags for Global Mamas. Not only is she a full-time seamstress but she’s a full-time mom. When she gets a chance to relax at home, Deborah likes to watch cartoons with her two sons. She hopes to give them the best education because, as she says, “If a child has a good education, he will have more opportunities.” Deborah has made it a priority to take advantage of the opportunities she’s had in life, and she is proud to be an entrepreneur, owning her own shop.

 

Deborah describes her greatest personal achievement: “When you own your own shop, oh that one - anything can happen!”

 
Deborah Asmah, a Global Mama since 2009

“To me, prosperity is taking small steps toward happiness.”

 

Meet Deborah: For Deborah, success is incremental. She views her business as a seamstress as a series of small accomplishments that, after years of hard work, will lead her to prosperity. “Moving from one step to another is the key to my happiness, and happiness is my goal.” She pursued her dream of becoming a seamstress by attending a vocational school where she was able to develop many specialized techniques that helped to elevate her as a master seamstress. When not working and goal setting, Deborah enjoys banku and okru stew, her favorite Ghanaian foods. She encourages Americans and Europeans to try these foods as well, because “they will be surprised how delicious Ghana’s food is.”

 

“My proudest achievement since joining Global Mamas is the creative designs I’ve come up with for bags and dresses.”

 
Elizabeth "Araba" Aikins, a Global Mama since 2015

“To me, prosperity is doing something that you put all your strength and mind and materials into and then get to witness the finished product.”

 

Meet Elizabeth: After working at a pharmacy for very little pay, Elizabeth learned about Global Mamas from a friend and decided to apply as a temporary worker. She then applied for full time work and was accepted into the program as a quality control seamstress champion. Now that she has the income of a direct employee, Elizabeth has been able to rent a room in a house for herself, allowing for more independence in her life. Moreover, she was empowered in November 2015 to make decisions about sewn items for export. Calm, composed, and always ready to focus on the task at hand, Elizabeth loves working with the Mamas and helping them make their products better. She hopes to further her education by completing tertiary school, and then continue moving up through Global Mamas. What she loves most about her job is that she can see someone wearing the finished product that she had a part in producing.

 

 
Elizabeth "Esi" Arkaah, a Global Mama since 2007

Elizabeth “Esi” Arkaah hit the ground running after she learned how to sew, opening her own shop and working hard to make it what it is today—a bustling place where multiple apprentices and employees help Esi with enough work to keep them busy all day. Esi loves that Global Mamas carries her products across the globe and wishes her business to improve all the time, not for her own sake but for the benefit of her loved ones. “I want to build a big house in a quiet neighborhood,” she tells us,  “I want all my children to go to university and get their masters [degrees]. I also want to buy my own car and help my family.”

 
Elizabeth Abena Andorful, a Global Mama since 2009

Elizbaeth Abena Andorful grew up wanting to learn a trade and soon after she first began sewing Elizabeth recognized her love for it. Elizabeth feels that if she could be doing anything, she would still take the path that she has that lead her to be a seamstress. After apprenticing and working four years for another seamstress, Elizabeth decided to be an independent seamstress. She rented a small place for living and is using the porch as a sewing center, which she named Saint Teresa's Fashion. Renting this space marked what Elizabeth sees as her happiest day. Having her own living space and being a Global Mama since summer of 2009 has allowed Elizabeth to care for and support the most important people to her - her two sons. Elizabeth hopes to one day go back to fashion school and then open her own shop with everything that she learns.

 
Elizabeth Ampiah, Co-Founder, a Global Mama since 2003

“To me, prosperity is having your family and being able to take them to school and having a place for them to live. Prosperity is based in the family.”

 

Meet Elizabeth: One of the founding Mamas, Elizabeth has been batiking since 1995. After attending batik school with fellow Mama Emma, she used her knowledge of batiking to create designs that she entered into a trade show. When she was picked as one of the six finalists in the show, Elizabeth knew she had found her calling. “My pay went up and my happiness went up after I started batiking.” She opened up a shop with Emma, but when batiking became a highly competitive industry in Ghana, the store struggled as larger customers delayed their payment for months. All of this changed when Emma and Elizabeth became founding members of Global Mamas, setting an example of hard work and smart business for all future Mamas. Elizabeth notes that many other Mamas respect her current business, EliAma, because she and her partner have proven that a business in batiking is sustainable and profitable.

 

“I know I will have achieved prosperity when I am fully dependent on myself and no longer dependent on other people.”

 
Elizabeth Asem, a Global Mama since 2011

“To me, prosperity is achieving all good that is pertaining to life.”

 

Meet Elizabeth: Elizabeth first heard about Global Mamas through a friend and has been a Mama since 2012. When she started as an independent seamstress, she found most of her work to have unreliable pay. She has since found more security in pay and work since batiking for Global Mamas. Global Mamas has already helped Elizabeth support her family; she is now able to help her husband to pay for her two kids to go through school and onto University. Elizabeth is also able to pay the fees for her sister’s nursing school. Her daughter, Gifty, helps Elizabeth with her batiking. Gifty hopes to one day be a teacher, but is happy to be working with the Mamas today. In the future, Elizabeth is planning to save money in order to build herself a workshop at her house.

 

To her customers who are wearing her masterpieces, Elizabeth urges you to “Keep on wearing the African way!” 

 
Ellen Amartey, a Global Mama since 2009

If you ask Ellen Hudges Amartey, she will make sure that you know she is a dressmaker rather than a seamstress. She adamantly describes her occupation as such, because she wants people to recognize the devotion that goes into every dress that she makes. Ellen Amartey has been practicing the skills of a dressmaker since she was in Senior High School and loves everything about sewing, from the beginning cuts to the end product. Ellen works out of her home on the campus of Holy Child, where her husband is a teacher. With the help of two workers and an apprentice, Ellen's machines are constantly in use. In the rare times when Ellen is not sewing or busy with her two children, she likes to read. Ellen hopes to one day establish her own dressmaking school, through which she can teach the younger generation what she has learned about the trade.

 
Elsie Amonoo, a Global Mama since 2012

“To me, prosperity is happiness and being educated.”

 

Meet Elsie: A dreamer, Elsie loves to dream of travelling to South Africa. She admires South African dances and festivals. Elsie admits that she even draws inspiration from South African fashion. A seamstress in Cape Coast, Elsie joined Global Mamas when she was introduced to Wisdom, a Cape Coast employee. Since, Global Mamas has supplied her with men’s shirt orders which greatly increases her business, she says. When not sewing men’s shirts, Elsie loves listening to Hill Songs, her favorite gospel group. Her favorite food is rice and light soup.

 

“My proudest achievement is using my business to pay rent and support my junior brother in school.”

 
Emma Myers, Co-Founder & Batiker, a Global Mama since 2003

Emma and Elizabeth were a dynamic duo from the beginning, forging a fast friendship as employees on an assembly line 23 years ago and enrolling in Batiking School together. After graduation they opened “Eli-Emma Batik & Tye-Dye,” but when batiking became a highly competitive industry in Ghana, the store struggled as larger customers delayed their payment for months. All of this changed when Emma and Eli became founding members of Global Mamas, setting an example of hard work and smart business for all future Mamas. Nearly ten years and many orders later, Eli and Emma remain model Mamas while supporting families of their own.  Voicing the very mission of Global Mamas, Eli and Emma share that, “we are proud to be independent women.”

 
Esther Aggrey-fynn, a Global Mama since 2012

“To me, prosperity is being able to give to your children or other’s children, or take care of your health, pay your own medical bills .“

 

Meet Esther: She has worked at Global Mama since 2012, Esther as a quality control batik and seamstress champion as well as a tour guide for volunteers. She was encouraged by a Mama to apply to this organization and it has since helped her in many ways. Esther explains that “I am asthmatic and the drug for asthma is very expensive. Before I could not afford to pay it myself, but after working with Global Mamas, I am able to buy the drug without the help of anyone.” Her most fundamental goal is to provide for her family. By working at Global Mamas, she achieves a steady income to take care of her sister’s three children. As an ambitious young woman, her dream is to own and manage her own business. She hopes that her work with Global Mamas will provide her with enough savings to open a cosmetic shop and develop as an entrepreneur. 

 
Esther Gyepi-Garbrah, Co-Founder, a Global Mama since 2003

Esther Gyepi-Garbrah has come far from when she started working as a seamstress in her bedroom, using a borrowed manual sewing machine. After dealing with customers who delayed payment and export partners who cheated her, Esther is grateful for the reliable business that comes from working with Global Mamas. With her perseverance and dependable work ethic, Esther has maintained a loyal customer base and taught many apprentices over the years.  “Through Global Mamas, I have been able to achieve my dream of helping people.” She says, “Before Global Mamas, my income was limited and I could not afford to help others. I will always appreciate that Global Mamas has helped me help others. They have helped a lot. They have done their best.”

 
Faustina Antwi, a Global Mama since 2009

A native of Cape Coast, Faustina Antwi is one of the most educated batikers working for Global Mamas. She completed her tertiary education at Kunst University, located in Kumasi. Although majoring in textiles, she gravitated towards batiking. She enjoys the creative dimension involved and likes working with the many colors. She lives and works out of the home that she grew up in, living with her parents and sister. Here she has a substantial amount of space where she and her apprentice can work and she can also save money to pay back her college loans. Faustina was drawn to the philosophy of Global Mamas and appreciates their efforts in providing a comprehensive education for all of their women. She has personally taken an interest in bookkeeping and the general methods of efficiency, applying both to her business. The future looks bright for Faustina, as she hopes to attain her Masters degree in textiles and open subsequent shops that will generate a significant output.

 
Felicia Asente, a Global Mama since 2013

“To me prosperity is to being able to work so I can earn money and make a good living.”

 

Meet Felicia: After Felicia started working with one of the Mamas, she decided to join the community as a seamstress herself. She mainly sews baby blankets and the explorer bag, working in her house on a small hill farther away from the business of the market. Since she first started working with Global Mamas, her sewing skills have improved and she has become a much more efficient producer. Through the training provided by Global Mamas, she has learned more about book keeping and managing her money. With her savings, she was able to buy a new sewing machine and open her own bank account.

 

Felicia has three kids: a 3 year-old, an 8 year old, and a 17 year old. When she’s not sewing and taking care of her children, she sells onions. Even though she spends most of her time working, she’s passionate about what she does. She would also love to sew more in order to develop her skills as well as to grow her business. 

 
Florence "Kakra" Thannie, a Global Mama since 2007

“To me prosperity is buying my industrial sewing machine. It helps me to do my work fast.”

 

Meet Florence: A seamstress, Florence took the advice of a friend and former Mama to apply to work with Global Mamas.  Since starting with the organization, Florence has perfected the design and construction of the weekend bag. She hopes to save enough money to buy more machines and expand her business in the future. In her spare time, she listens to Gospel music and dreams of building a new house where she and her husband can enjoy fufu and light soup on Sunday afternoons.

 

“I want to open a big shop and have apprentices and more customers and to produce more Global Mama products.”

 
Florence Thompson, Co-Founder, a Global Mama since 2003

Before partnering with Global Mamas, Florence Thompson knew she had what it took to be a successful seamstress, but her economic situation made it difficult. Florence was forced to default on a loan and go without electricity for months because she did not have enough money to pay the bills, but all of that changed when she started working with Global Mamas. With over 20 years of sewing experience and the financial jumpstart she needed, today Florence is able to continually improve the quality of her products, do her own bookkeeping, pay her family’s utilities and school fees, and dream for their future. "I pray that one child will be a doctor, one will be a pilot and one will be a journalist," she says.

 
Georgina "Gina" Abra Afenyo, a Global Mama since 2007

Georgina “Gina” Afenyo has proved to be a talented batiker and weaver, but she makes the greatest impact through her role as a teacher. When she is not batiking for Global Mamas, Gina trains apprentices at her shop and educates hundreds of girls in her craft at the local high school. Understanding the importance of education, Gina encouraged all of her employees and apprentices to go back to school, even though it means she now works alone. In addition to her indirect support of her many protégées, Gina financially supports multiple people outside of her immediate family. When asked about Global Mamas, Gina tells us, “They have supported me a lot. Global Mamas is regular with payment and orders.”

 
Georgina Doku, a Global Mama since 2008

“Prosperity means bringing people together. After that, you prosper by working and being serious about everything you are doing.”

 

Meet Gina: She is a mother first and a businesswoman second. Her business as a seamstress allows her to enroll all of her children in school. She would love for her firstborn to be a doctor, a dream she has long held. Gina would like all of her children to prosper by taking jobs that are “interesting, studious, and pay well.” Gina fondly remembers the day that a Global Mamas representative visited her shop and asked if she would be interested in partnering with Global Mamas. “Of course, I accepted.”

 

“My proudest personal accomplishment is making sure that each of my children can have an education.”

 
Gifty Acquah, a Global Mama since 2007

Gifty Acquah is one of the newest seamstresses to join Global Mamas and is busy creating the Medium Size Tote Bags. Growing up in Cape Coast, Gifty attended St. Mary's Vocational School in the nearby town of Elmina before becoming a year-long apprentice with a local seamstress. After working with Global Mamas for only two months, Gifty says she enjoys it a lot, even if it means working most days from morning until night. With her newfound success as a Global Mama, Gifty has put her added income towards the education of her three children, two boys and one girl. Her two eldest are currently working in Ghana's second largest city, Kumasi, while her twelve-year-old lives and goes to school in Cape Coast. Gifty hopes that Global Mamas will continue growing so that other women in the community will have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of trading goods internationally. She loves to design new clothes, but also would like more time to take up her favorite hobby of reading books. Despite the hard work, Gifty is sure to attend church every Sunday and enjoys spending time with her mother, who visits her home often.

 
Gladys Annan, a Global Mama since 2012

“To me prosperity is getting a steady income “

 

Meet Gladys: Gladys began her career by working as an apprentice for a Mama for two and a half years. Once she felt confident enough to manage her own business, she joined the Global Mama’s family as a Mama herself. Since 2013, this talented seamstress has owned own shop. Beaming, she claims that “Global Mamas is the biggest change in my life.” Not just a Mama, but also mother of three kids who are in school, Gladys states that Global Mamas is the permanent income she earns in order to provide for her children. Gladys feels very proud of the fact that her products are being appreciated and bought from people all over the world. She is one of the women behind the patchwork wallet and zip wristlet. In addition to being a part of the Global Mamas network, Gladys owns her own shop where she produces dresses for the local market. She loves her job and dreams about being able to develop her business even more.

 

“My dream is to buy my own land and build a house.”

 
Gloria Amanful, a Global Mama since 2012

“To me prosperity, is achieving whatever you want to do in the future”

 

Meet Gloria: As a mother of a six years old girl, Gloria’s main happiness is to see her daughter healthy and successful. The stable income she has earned since working with Global Mamas has enabled her to add money to her daughter’s savings account.  Indeed, she works hard to save for her daughter so that she is able to cover her university fees and become a nurse. She is one of the women behind the handsome boy shirts and beautiful pocket dresses. She is delighted to know that customers from all over the world are buying her products. Gloria appreciates their loyalty—it makes it possible for all of the Mamas to live a better life.Apart from sewing for Global Mamas, she sews uniforms for the University of Cape Coast.

 

As an ambitious woman, her dream is to open and manage her own clothing factory and keep developing as a seamstress and as an entrepreneur. She remarks: “I am proud of my work and proud of not begging from others.”

 
Grace "Araba" Koufie, a Global Mama since 2006

Grace “Araba” Koufie’s life is filled with activity—in her busy home, her busy workshop, and the busy open air market near where she lives in Cape Coast.  Though she started her seamstress business several years before becoming a Mama, her partnership with Global Mamas allowed Grace to pay off debt and start saving. Now, she earns enough money to cover regular school fees and medical expenses as well as support family members in need. In her own words, "Global Mamas has helped me a lot. Before Global Mamas, I stayed at home doing nothing, but they have provided me with regular business and a regular income.” Grace dreams big—hoping to one day open a bigger shop for more employees and build a bigger home for her family.

 
Grace Adoboe, a Global Mama since 2005

Grace Adoboe had a winding path to her current occupation as a Cape Coast business owner and seamstress for Global Mamas. Grace was born in the Volta Region and lived in Togo for a decade before returning to Ghana to establish her shop in Accra. Now Grace is finally settled with her business and family in Cape Coast, where she acknowledges, “I am a busy lady.” This Mama’s main focus is school uniforms and her main priority is customer satisfaction, as she often sacrifices her personal time to get a job done and ensure it is done correctly. This strategy has paid off for Grace, and she explains that, “Global Mamas has helped a lot. With my income, I can help my family and my husband.”

 
Hannah Dodoo, Co-Founder, a Global Mama since 2003

“My prosperity is not only financial, but involves health, community, religion, family, and sharing. Sharing my prosperity makes me prosper.”

 

Meet Hannah: One of the six Ghanaian co-founders, Hannah has helped shape Global Mamas into the organization it is now. Hannah is a seamstress who creates styles from her broad range of experiences abroad. She draws on her knowledge from Ghana, America and Germany where she learned to sew in 1976. Six years after learning to sew, she opened a shop in Cape Coast where her family resides. When not working, Hannah enjoys scrapbooking and reminiscing over her time on business trips abroad. And while her business has brought her prosperity, she maintains that her comfort and well-being come from more than just her job.

 

“If I have ever achieved, it has been because I share my talents with others. When I share my talents, it makes me happy. So I share my happiness with others.”

 
Hubert Mensah, a Global Mama since 2013

“To me, prosperity means being successful and giving life worth. I will achieve prosperity when I am able to have my own house, cars, and business.” 

 

Meet Hubert: His friends call him “Huby,” and he is a quality control champion and tour guide at Global Mamas. He first heard about Global Mamas through his aunt, Elizabeth Cato Cudjoe, who is a Global Mama batiker herself. As a quality control champion, he motivates the batikers and seamstresses to submit high quality products, as well as advises and supports them in their production. Since becoming a tour guide at Global Mamas, Hubert has relished learning how to relate to people in different cultures. And he especially loves watching his Mamas achieve their goals.  To Hubert, work “feels more like a family here.” His favorite Global Mamas design is “sailing, ” because of the beautiful colors and pattern. In his free time, he loves going to the beach, watching movies, and listening to “high Life” and Gospel Cools music. 

 
Isabella Amoah Kwa, a Global Mama since 2009

“I will be prosperous when I do not need anything, apart from needing God. To me, prosperity means living responsibly and happily.”

 

Meet Isabella: A seamstress that specializes in men’s fitted shirts, Isabella joined Global Mamas due to a friend’s recommendation. Since joining the organization, Isabella is very proud to be able to pay her rent while also sending her own daughter and her brother’s daughter to school.  “I hope that my kids graduate school with flying colors to become prominent people,” she said. In her spare time, Isabella enjoys knitting, cooking banku (with extra spice!) and listening to gospel music. Self-described as “always happy,” Isabella is never without a laugh or a smile.

 

“Ghana is a great place. I feel proud that the things that I’ve done here in Ghana have reached so far around the world.”

 
Jennifer Benedicta Ocran, a Global Mama since 2007

Jennifer Benedicta Ocran is a born entrepreneur and will do what it takes to make her career goals a reality. She attended more than a year of batik schooling to earn her certification, and then worked in tie-dye to earn enough income to invest in her own expensive batik equipment. Now that she has established herself as a successful batiker and Global Mama, Jennifer is pursuing her dream of opening a catering and wedding planning business. She attends catering school while continuing the work that pays for her education, splitting her days between batiking, going to class, studying, and helping out friends and family members. Jennifer beams when she talks about her success so far and her big business plans for the future, “With God on our side we can do all number of things.” 

 
Jennifer Thompson , a Global Mama since 2009

 

Jennifer Thompson is a woman with a quiet voice but a loud heart. She learned how to sew in the small village where she was born. Recently, this hobby turned into a career when she teamed up with Global Mamas. Jennifer's husband passed away, leaving her to care for and support her three children. Jennifer recalls this time in her life and tearfully remembers, "Global Mamas has been the most important thing in my life, because they were the only ones to help me when my husband died. Global Mamas is a great company, because they help many women and they saved me. To me, Global Mamas means 'great mother'." Through Global Mamas Jennifer has learned about book-keeping, financial independence, and finance responsibility. These new skills, along with the orders she gets from Global Mamas, have nearly doubled Jennifer's income and has enabled her to dream of accomplishing even bigger things. Jennifer hopes to be a "big woman" who has multiple shops and is able to train others to be seamstresses. She also dreams of being able to buy a school so that she can provide children with a proper education without the burden of school fees. On the seldom occasion when Jennifer is not working, she enjoys singing songs and simply going to the seaside and watching the ocean.

 
Joanna Minnow, a Global Mama since 2007

Joanna Minnow has always used her talent to help others, beginning when she would make clothes for her friends and family as a young girl. When she started sewing as a career, Jennifer could barely afford her one sewing machine or the rent for her workspace, but then her friend introduced her to Global Mamas. Now that she works as a seamstress for Global Mamas, Joanna has her own apprentices, a handful of sewing machines and a weaving machine. Joanna is pleased not only with her successes but her ability to keep serving others. Joanna says that, “Global Mamas has provided me with plenty of work and regular income, allowing me to help the needy people in my church by providing them with food, clothes, and more. I love kids and I love to help them.”

 
Joyce Aboagye, a Global Mama since 2007

Joyce Aboagye, a batiker with Global Mamas, is enjoying the new business of selling her creations abroad. She grew up in the Eastern Region of Ghana but eventually moved to the Central Region where she met her auto-electrician husband. Cape Coast soon became her home where she opened her own seamstress and batiking business, El-Shadaye Fashion and Batik. With the help of her Global Mamas sales, Joyce is sending her two boys, ages six and nine, to a local school as well as employing four junior apprentices. According to Joyce, who was introduced to Global Mamas by a seamstress friend, "Global Mamas is good. We need more customers from abroad." Joyce has been fortunate to keep all of her old clients, and her business is continuing to do very well. For Joyce, the most engaging part of her work is developing new designs and, of course, wearing them around the Cape Coast area. She believes non-governmental organizations (NGOs), like Global Mamas, are a great way to empower women and offer them a way to provide more for their families.

 
Juliana Mustafa, a Global Mama since 2005

Juliana Mustafa is a talented artisan who has established herself as one of Global Mamas finest Cape Coast batikers, but she proudly explains that she is a “mother first and a batiker second.” While her family is most important to her, Juliana is also a successful businesswoman, grateful to Global Mamas for their help,growing her business. “They have organized training and health care programs for us.” She says, “They pay for bulk orders completely, which has helped me buy a car.” However, Juliana nearly always speaks of batiking and business in the context of how it has helped her family, “I am proud of being able to send my children and 5 year old niece to school.  I am able to meet all my children's needs.”

 
Louisa Dadzie, a Global Mama since 2004

“To me, prosperity is having my own house, something to eat, and moving on smoothly in life.”

 

Meet Louisa: While still in high school, Louisa spent two years as a batiking apprentice with Global Mamas cofounders Eli and Emma. She absolutely loved working with them, and now she owns her own batiking workshop with two employees. Just as she has grown through Global Mamas, Louisa has also witnessed Global Mamas grow and include more women in their network over the years. She makes products for both her local market as well as women around the world. Because of her work with Global Mamas, she has been able to save up enough money to build her own house in Cape Coast. She is an enthusiastic Yoga Mama – on the weekends, she takes classes at the Global Mamas office. Louisa also enjoys leading batiking workshops. She comments on the reciprocal relationship she has with other Mamas by saying, “I teach other women how to batik, but I learn from them as well.”

 
Martha Rhule, a Global Mama since 2010

“To me, prosperity is working hard and getting more money for my family.”

 

Meet Martha: Martha began her business as both a batiker and seamstress, selling products out of her workshop. After Melanie Popowich introduced her to Global Mamas, she consolidated her business to only batiking. Early on in her career with Global Mamas, many of Martha’s products were rejected due to patchy coloring. But other Mamas convinced her to not give up – and she’s glad she didn’t! Martha practiced and developed her skill, and her hard work paid off. She won the Batikers Award at the 2010 Design Competition for her pebble pattern and was named the Global Mama of the Year in 2014. Martha is now able to pay her rent with ease thanks to Global Mamas, and she has taken in one employee and many apprentices. She hopes to continue producing batik for Global Mamas and to earn enough money to help her seven nieces and nephews complete their educations.

 
Martina Obeng , a Global Mama since 2009

When Martina Obeng decided to become a seamstress, she wanted to get it right. Before opening her own shop, Martina spent years attending vocational school and training under her veteran sister. This preparation paid off, as Tina’s Fashion Center is now bustling with work and Global Mamas orders. Martina is grateful for how far she has come since becoming a Mama. "Global Mamas is helping me in more ways than I could have imagined.” She reflects, “I can now provide better for my children.  They are good people that have taught me skills like bookkeeping and making quality goods, which are helping me advance my reputation and thus my business." 

 
Mary Koomson, a Global Mama since 2008

“To me, prosperity is everything that is good in life: family, work, happiness, money.”

 

Meet Mary: A batiker, Mary joined Global Mamas because of its community of women. One of Mary’s favorite aspects of the organization is that through fair trade empowerment, she has learned essential skills such as book keeping and better business practices. She is thankful that Global Mamas worked with her to ensure she had all the necessary batiking materials. She is a self-proclaimed ‘convincer,’ and her proudest accomplishment has been convincing non-Ghanaians to wear her African wear, because it shares her culture with the world. Following a day’s work, Mary enjoys spending time with her family and sharing a meal of banku or red red. One day, she hopes to visit the United States because, “[The United States] is a land of dreams, and I like it very much.”

 

“My proudest business achievement since partnering with Global Mamas is buying a large plot of land for my family.”

 
Matilda Mills, a Global Mama since 2010

Matilda became a seamstress because she wanted to express her independent style. She joined Global Mamas in January 2010, after founding her business two years before. Matilda now employs one worker and two apprentices. With the income she earns from her dressmaking shop she supports her parents and five siblings. Matilda enjoys singing in her free time. She dreams of being a "big woman" someday with her own car and house.

 
Mavis Thompson, a Global Mama since 2004

Born and raised in Cape Coast, Mavis Thompson’s story is one of renewed hope. She started batiking in 1989 and soon after opened her own shop called “Press on Towards the Goal.” After experiencing initial success, Mavis was forced to close her shop when a shrinking customer base made it impossible for her to afford the expensive batiking supplies she needed. Mavis was selling lace and curtains by the side of the road when she found Global Mamas, and since then Global Mamas has provided Mavis with a steady income and the means to buy daily food. Mavis is pleased with this change in her situation. “Global Mamas is good,” she says. “They help us. They have given us work to do.”

 
Molly Linda Djan, a Global Mama since 2006

A step into Molly Djan’s apartment block and it reveals the organized chaos of her life as a Global Mama. Several sewing machines whir through patterned dresess and reversible aprons while an apprentice irons finished work and friends stop by to say hello. Molly is busy all day in Cape Coast while she fills orders, manages her current employees, and trains new ones; she is busy on the weekends too when she travels an hour and a half to visit her family in Winneba. This activity energizes Molly, as she tells us “I am proud of my work and giving my niece the opportunity to go to university.”

 
Patience Treve, a Global Mama since 2015

“Prosperity, to me, is the ability to earn a steady income and be able to meet your financial obligations.”

 

Meet Patience: Patience has been with Global Mamas since the very beginning. Hired by Renee Adam, Peace Corps volunteer and co-founder, Patience was the first official employee. When asked what her role was at the beginning, Patience claimed, “I did everything!” Now she is the People Development Manager and is responsible for the welfare of all her direct staff,mamas and volunteers. Patience has had the pleasure of growing and learning with Global Mamas, witnessing it progress from 6 Mamas to now over 400 individuals – and she has personally met every single Mama! She is the business mastermind behind Global Mamas, with a diploma in marketing and a degree in management studies. Although she has a lot of favorite things about working for Global Mamas, the passion on which the organization thrives is what keeps her motivated to continue her work. According to Patience, “empowering women to be financially independent is so important because it is an investment that grows the nation’s economy and reduces unemployment; it is also the way to let artisans achieve independence and export their products.” Patience is proud that Global Mamas is a unique kind of company: customers can expect fair trade products of the highest quality that are made with passion and that have a woman’s story woven into it.  In her free time, Patience loves to go to church, teach her Sunday school class, and spend time with her family. In the future, if the company is able to stabilize production, Patience hopes to see Global Mamas expand beyond Ghana because their mission is to aid in the prosperity for African women and their families.

 

“To everyone across the world wearing our product, I will say continue to purchase the fair trade product because you are helping to make a woman proud in Africa.”

 
Patricia Tandoh, a Global Mama since 2009

Patricia Tandoh began her batiking career as an apprentice for founding Mamas Eli and Emma, but she never dreamed she would become a Global Mama herself. After years of witnessing how Eli and Emma’s businesses and lives had improved with the help of Global Mamas, Patricia finally sent in her application.  "The day that Global Mamas accepted my application was the happiest day of my life.” She says, “I am happy now, because I can control my career and I love the independence that Global Mamas has given me." The benefits of the partnership are mutual, as Patricia recently created a new design for Global Mamas and continues to create beautiful products.

 
Philomena Stephens, a Global Mama since 2007

Philomina Stephens enjoys her work as a seamstress and shop owner, but what she loves about being a Mamas is knowing that the products she sews travel all over the world. It means a lot to Philomina that her name is written on the tags of the clothing she works so hard to sew. Realizing this tag also makes her accountable for her products, Philomina demands high standards from herself and from her employees. These standards have brought her a growing client base and the opportunity to open her own shop, as she says, “Global Mamas has helped a lot. Income is good from Global Mamas.”

 
Sabina Efua Atta Assimoku, a Global Mama since 2007

Sabina Assimoku is a good listener with a gentle and confident manner, traits that make her both a good mother and a successful business owner. Though she started sewing more than five years before joining Global Mamas, Sabina was able to increase her income, rent a workshop, and hire employees after becoming a Mama. Sabina is grateful that Global Mamas helps her business as well as her family, allowing her a paid maternity leave and providing her the salary she uses to pay school fees.  In the future, Sabina wants to expand even further, but for now she looks lovingly at her baby son as she reflects, "Global Mamas has changed my life a lot. Global Mamas has improved my financial situation a lot."

 
Sabina Hasford, a Global Mama since 2008

“The key to prosperity is letting everything go and being cordial with people. When you do this, you will help others more than you will ever know.”

 

Meet Sabina: A seamstress since 1975, Sabina learned to sew from her mother. After learning to sew, Sabina worked as the secretary for the Minister of Health in the Western Region of Ghana. During her time as a secretary, Sabina never stopped sewing. In 2008, Sabina joined Global Mamas with the help of a Peace Corps volunteer. She now designs custom clothing targeting tourists. Sabina draws inspiration from American films, carefully observing what popular actors are wearing in movies and replicating these outfits as best she can. Sabina’s proudest achievement since joining Global Mamas is that women around the world wear her clothing.

 

“It makes me very proud that women from all over visit me at my shop and say, ‘Wow! You are Sabina! You’re clothing makes me very, very happy.’”

 
Sarah "Adwoa" Aggrey, a Global Mama since 2006

Sarah Aggrey plans for the future with each decision she makes, and is grateful to see her pragmatism pay off. Sarah took up sewing almost 20 years ago because she believe it would provide her with a secure source of income, but when she found herself with sole responsibility for her daughter, she needed a new plan. After hearing about Global Mamas, Sarah decided it would be in her best interest to join. Since then, Global Mamas has enabled Sarah to expand her business, support herself, and help her daughter pay for school. “I am proud to be able to send my daughter to nursing school,” she says. 

 

 
Sarah Adjei, a Global Mama since 2005

“I will know I have achieved prosperity when I can build a house on my land. I know Global Mamas will help me to get the money I need.”

 

Meet Sarah: A seamstress, Sarah first heard about Global Mamas when helping her friend and fellow Mama batik new product designs. Since becoming a Mama herself, Sarah has earned enough money through her Global Mamas orders to put her three children through university and to expand her seamstress shop by purchasing extra machines and training apprentices. Any volunteers who stay with her are greeted with a big smile and an open heart. Teaching the volunteers how to wash laundry and make local foods are experiences she says she will never forget. When not working, Sarah listens to Gospel music and dreams of the house she will one day build on her land.  

 

To everyone around the world wearing her products, Sarah says, “I would tell my customers I am happy now because of Global Mamas. Now I can support myself because I have too become a somebody.”     

 
Sarah Mensah, a Global Mama since 2007

 

Sarah Mensah has been batiking since 2004. She started as a seamstress and decided to go to school to learn batiking in order to design her own clothes from start to finish. In addition, Sarah makes soap specifically for washing clothes and dishes. She learned about Global Mamas from a friend, and started with the organization in August 2007. She likes that working with Global Mamas always keeps her busy with work. Since becoming a Mama, Sarah has been able to move to a shop, hire one employee, and support her child. In the future, she would like to expand her business and hire more employees.

 
Theresa Mensah, a Global Mama since 2008

Theresa joined Global Mamas in 2009. After completing a one year apprenticeship, she was able to open her own dressmaking shop. Theresa is a wife and a mother of three girls who are all in school. With money she has earned since joining Global Mamas, she fixed her broken sewing machine and bought a television and DVD player for her family. She enjoys cooking and being with her family in her free time. She hopes in the future to be able to buy her own apartment and to be able to buy new clothes for herself.

 
Veronica Anim, a Global Mama since 2007

Veronica Anim knew from a young age that she wanted to become a seamstress—and has now been a seamstress for ten years. Her original customer base came to her shop and requested products; she is happy to say she can sew anything. Joining Global Mamas in 2007, she says, gave her the right amount of work. Now, Veronica works primarily for Global Mamas, but when she has time, continues to do work for her own customers. Working for Global Mamas has enabled Veronica to send her four children to school and keep them healthy. She has also expanded her shop to hire another employee and take on an apprentice. It is exciting, she says, “that people in other parts of the world are buying and wearing my clothing.” Thinking to the future, Veronica would like her business to grow to where she could hire more employees, as well as buy land, build a home, and raise her children there.

 
Vida Donkoh, a Global Mama since 2008

Vida Donkoh has always been a self-starter, choosing by herself to start a career as a seamstress before working on her own. When she struggled to pay her bills, Vida’s sister suggested that Global Mamas could help her gain financial independence like they have for so many other women. Since following this advice, Vida is now making enough money to save for her dreams and child's future education. Her favorite part about this partnership is working with good and trustworthy people, along with the satisfaction of the finished product. “Global Mamas has helped me a lot and made me happy.” She says, “The income earned is good and steady, and I like the way Global Mamas staff talks with me.”



Cape Coast is home to our largest production location and was the first Global Mamas location. It was here that our founding Mamas came together in 2003 to produce the first Global Mamas product line. Today the Cape Coast Global Mamas community comprises nearly 100 independent, women-owned businesses. In Cape Coast our Mamas are batikers and seamstresses who work from their own shops or from their homes.
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