Giveaway: Global Mamas

Courtney Lang April 24, 2012


Global Mamas would not exist without the dedication of co-founders Renae Adam and Kristin Johnson who met in Ghana during their tenure in the US Peace Corps from 1992-95. Throughout those years they collaborated on many projects working to empower women. Both Renae and Kristin fell in love with Ghana, its people, and the drive of many business women to grow their enterprises in order to provide better lives for their families.

Between 1995 and 2003, Renae and Kristin each obtained MBAs and gained valuable experience in the corporate and nonprofit worlds. They dedicated their spare time to finding markets abroad for several batikers in Ghana. As they continued seeing noticeable improvements in the quality of life of the women as a result of their limited volunteer time, they decided to form a nonprofit organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of women in Africa.

Women in Progress was established as a US nonprofit corporation in May 2002. Relocating
to Ghana, Renae established Global Mamas as a local NGO in Ghana in September 2002 and began offering business development services in March of 2003. Since that time, utilizing small private donations, Women in Progress / Global Mamas has been able to extend exporting services to many woman-led businesses in Ghana. The US operation, led by Kristin, focuses on finding markets for the products made by women in Ghana and recruiting local volunteers and interns to donate their expertise to female micro entrepreneurs by spending time in Ghana.

A Purchase with a Purpose

Global Mamas officially launched its first product line in 2003 with six producers. Today the Global Mamas network is comprised of 627 women (and a few men) working together to penetrate export markets. The women are provided fair and deserved payments for their high-quality work. Sales of the Global Mamas’ products provide dignity to African women who are now able to earn a living wage through the production of handmade batik apparel and accessories, recycled glass beads and jewelry, and skin care products. We provide artisans in the Global Mamas network with financial and managerial support including production coordination, sourcing and provision of raw materials, and practical training in a variety of areas such as quality control, product development, and fair trade business management.

Commitment to Fair Trade

All of Global Mamas products are produced using fair trade principles. As members of the Fair Trade Federation and the World Fair Trade Organization, Global Mamas commitment to practicing fair trade is evaluated annually. You can learn more about how Global Mamas embraces fair trade principles and puts our goals in action in Fair Trade.


For those who are looking to educate about Global Mamas and Fair Trade, there
are many more great resources available on our websites:

Go to News to read our Quarterly Updates and learn about our most recent projects and progress.

Download our Annual Reports for more information about how we achieve our

Visit Meet the Women to read stories of each individual producer.

Stop into Handcrafting for links to information and videos about Global Mamas production methods.


We have pulled together two great sets in honor of Fair Trade Towns/Universities:

Cosmetic Set – Enclosed in one of our beautifully batiked Cosmetic Bags is a tub of the relaxing Slippery Slope Shea Butter in Lavender and the hydrating Trunk Scrub Shea Soap in
Honey/Lemon/Oatmeal. (2 available)

Kitchen Set –  Bring the Spice of Ghana Life into your kitchen with the Global Mamas Cookbook and a lovely hand-crafted Apron and Potholder; all nestled into a set of our stackable bins. (1 available)

The first 3 people who share our blog from the Fair Trade Towns or Fair Trade Universities facebook post, filling the blank in the statement “In 2003, Global Mamas launched with ___ producers.” in their subject line will win one of the above options. Sets will be available on a first come, first serve basis for those 3

If you miss the give-away, don’t fret! There is a great SALE on Global Mamas items at

Make sure you don’t miss out;
there are items on sale in every category, some up to 50% off!

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Courtney Lang, National Organizer | Fair Trade Campaigns

Courtney Lang brings over 5 years of community organizing to Fair Trade Towns USA, building both the Local Food and Fair Trade networks in Vermont. As Local Food Coordinator with City Market/Onion River Cooperative, Courtney worked with local producers, institutions and consumers to grow the local food system and organize a strategic model for community engagement through farm tours, workshops, and local food challenges. Like many in the Fair Trade industry, Courtney was inspired to take action in Fair Trade when she witnessed child-labor first hand in Costa Rica. As a founding member of Fair Trade Burlington, she has worked with economic development organizations, businesses, and consumers to build awareness of Fair Trade among Vermonters. She also worked with a Fair Trade USA licensee, Vermont Coffee Company, as Friend Ambassador where she united the story of Fair Trade to every purchase of coffee.