Global Gifts works with talented artisan groups throughout Africa who produce a variety of products, from carved Kisii stone sculptures to baskets and textiles. These are just a few of the artisan groups represented in our stores:

Artisanat et Developpment
Global Mamas
Imani Workshops


Artisanat et Developpment, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Artisans in Democratic Republic of the Congo have worked in a chaotic situation of war, corruption and uncertainty. Exporters here face considerable obstacles, including the most expensive port in Africa.

Artisanat et Developpment is a local nonprofit artisans’ organization that provides training and marketing assistance to Congolese artisans, and ensures that they receive fair payment for their products.

Other artisan benefits include interest-free loans for workshop construction, wood-drying kilns and other needs. Along with its export business, Artisanat et Developpment runs a retail store in the capital city of Kinshasa. Historically craftspeople in Democratic Republic of the Congo were not respected. Because of these artisans’ involvement with Artisanat et Developpment, they and their families are now more respected. They achieve dignity through this work.

Artisanat et Developpment was established in 1997 with assistance of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a U.S.-based relief and development organization and Ten Thousand Villages parent organization. Artisanat et Developpment became independent in 2007. In 2003 Ten Thousand Villages was temporarily forced to stop importing from Democratic Republic of the Congo due to local trade barriers including corruption and lack of infrastructure. But Ten Thousand Villages buyers continued to work with MCC offices in Democratic Republic of the Congo and with the director of Artisanat et Developpment to build artisan capacity. With the Congolese presidential and parliamentary elections held in 2006, Ten Thousand Villages was able to again resume trade with Artisanat et Developpment.

Ten Thousand Villages purchases wire vehicles, galimotos, masks, thumb pianos, nativities, and carved accent furniture from Artisanat et Developpment. Ten Thousand Villages has purchased products from Artisanat et Developpment since 1997.

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Global Mamas, Ghana

Founded in 2003, the Global Mamas community is comprised of thousands of people from around the world working together with the mission of creating prosperity for African women and their families. The Mamas define prosperity as going beyond financial well-being to include happiness and good health. They achieve prosperity by creating and selling unique, handcrafted products of the highest quality. Being able to do the work they love and being empowered by financial independence leads to greater happiness. The Mamas realize their dreams of having the opportunity to support their families, send their children to school, improve their health, and save for the future.

Global Mamas products are full of life and love. Each item is hand-crafted using traditional techniques, maintaining local artisanal skills such as batiking, bead-making and Shea butter production. Global Mamas products are unique and high-quality, tended to with care through a meticulous quality control process and by a dedicated customer service team. Some of their products include: Hand Batiked Textiles: Apparel for Kids and Adults, Accessories, Home Décor, Jewelry and Shea Butter Soap.

The Global Mamas are mothers, wives, grandmothers, sisters, talented entrepreneurs and leaders in their communities. There are nearly 350 producers from 7 different communities in the Global Mamas network.

The producers are unique and their accomplishments over the years have varied from purchasing new equipment, supporting their children’s education through all levels of school (including university), opening shops, building homes and most importantly, feeling empowered and valued.

Global Mamas is committed to sustainable growth and since inception has created hundreds of jobs in Ghana. Fair Trade practices ensure that every Global Mama is paid a steady, living wage. They further empower the Mamas by inviting them to be a part of organizational decisions and product development. Through their powerful network of international volunteers and interns, the Mamas receive personalized, hands-on training to refine their skills and strengthen their capacity to produce better products, manage their growing businesses and personal incomes, and improve their health and the health of their children.
 Global Gifts is proud to carry Global Mamas products.

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Imani Workshops

Imani Workshops was established in 2005 as a branch of the Family Preservation Initiative under the IU-Kenya Partnership’s AMPATH program. The Academic Model for the Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) is a working model of urban and rural HIV prevention and treatment services in the public sector of Kenya. AMPATH currently cares for more than 100,000+ HIV infected adults and children in Western Kenya. Family Preservation Initiative (FPI) provides avenues for HIV positive patients and their families to achieve sustainable economic security by increasing their skills, knowledge and productivity and improving the quality of their life.

Imani Workshops is a revenue-generating social enterprise focused on producing high quality crafts by HIV+ artisans in western Kenya. Due to stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, many AMPATH patients have a hard time securing a job or accessing credit for a business loan. The Family Preservation Initiative and Imani Workshops gives them a second chance at getting their life back on track while, at the same time, promoting economic self sufficiency. Imani employees all earn a living by producing high quality handmade goods. Imani workshops aims to expand its reach to the vulnerable individuals in other sites in Kenya by providing capacity building and markets to other HIV positive artisan groups. It is laying foundation for an Imani Training Institute and testing a “work from home” Model called Kazi Nyumbani to develop contract manufacturing relationships, incorporate those with disabilities and provide business ownership opportunities.

Imani Workshops is currently comprised of 30 full-time employees and 220-100 part-time employees. 100% of the income earned through sales is reinvested in the Workshop through which artisans benefit from employment, skills training and other forms of empowerment. 

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NAWOU (National Association of Women Organisations in Uganda), Uganda

NAWOU, the National Association of Women Organisations in Uganda, works with more than 80 independent women's groups located throughout Uganda.

In addition to health care, social welfare, lobbying and advocacy, microfinance and education programs, NAWOU runs a handicraft program. Each group is responsible for production, quality control and transportation to Kampala. All crafts are based on traditional skills and products; natural dyes are also used. NAWOU helps with local and export marketing of the handicrafts. Through NAWOU, artisans receive loans, training, counseling, links to aid agencies and assistance with medication. NAWOU encourages microlending with the urban poor in Kampala. NAWOU does public education on HIV/AIDS, a significant problem in Uganda. Many of the women producing baskets for NAWOU are infected with HIV/AIDS, and income from basket weaving provides a lifeline of support for them.

NAWOU is a Ugandan umbrella organization for women's organizations that was formed in 1992, and is registered as an NGO (nongovernmental organization) with the NGO Board of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. NAWOU is an affiliate of the International Council of Women, has a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and collaborates with several networks, international NGOs and development partners. 

NAWOU was established in 1992 by members of nongovernmental and community-based organizations.

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