The partners of Mamaa Trade are located in Kongo village in Nabdam District, Upper-East Region of Ghana which is one of the poorest regions of the country.
The area’s dry soil, coupled with erratic rainfall and harsh weather conditions, makes farming challenging. Making baskets and shea butter offers the local women, especially widows who are in a vulnerable situation, an opportunity to earn vital additional income, which they invest in educating their children and ensuring a better food supply for their families.
Yen Pang Basket Weavers cooperative was established in 2014 with the support of Estonian NGO Mondo. Having initially started with eight women under a mango tree, the cooperative has now quadrupled in size, and has its own centre for weaving and storing the baskets. The cooperative is also training other women in nearby villages in basket weaving.
Kongo Nagbok Nongtaab Shea Butter Production unites more than 100 widows in the community. Shea butter is often called African women’s gold, and it has been used for cooking and caring for babies’ skin for thousands of years. Making shea butter is a skill that is passed on from mothers to daughters and every woman in the area knows how to make it for household needs. With the help of NGO Mondo and Estonian development cooperation funds, the women at Kongo village have a shea butter production center, which enables them to produce and package good quality shea butter in larger amounts for export.
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Susana is the head of the shea cooperative ensuring the factory is running smoothly and only the freshest and purest Shea butter is prepared.