The products of Mondo Shop are created by different artisans from around the world. We develop direct trade with communities in Africa, which means that all the products come straight from the artisans and their cooperatives, enabling us to know the exact price of the products and pay the artisans a fair wage. Every day we witness how the opportunity to earn money and provide for their family raises women’s confidence and self-respect. Afghan products come from partners that have a long history in social entrepreneurship and who share similar values with Mondo.

Kongo village in the Northern Region of Ghana

Kongo lies on the border of a desert, and has traditionally been an agricultural community. Climate change, infertile soils, and irregular precipitation make farming increasingly difficult, and families are no longer able to maintain themselves depending solely on their crops. Jobs are scarce, and people live hand to mouth. Therefore, the village women are especially grateful for the opportunity to learn new skills and earn additional money. Additional income is mainly invested in children’s education and in a diversified diet. Monica, a devoted basket weaver, has been able to install indoor plumbing in her house thanks to Mondo – something that makes the whole family very proud!

The Kongo Community Development Widows’ Association manufactures the shea butter we sell at Mondo. Every woman in the Kongo village knows how to make shea butter. Thanks to development assistance from Mondo and the Republic of Estonia, a shea butter manufacturing centre was established in the village, enabling the women to produce and package large amounts of shea butter for export. Currently, there are around a hundred active women in the Association.

The Yen Pang Basket Weavers Association was established in Kongo in 2014, when Mondo offered the women of the village an opportunity to learn basket weaving. The Association, which started with just eight members under a mango tree, has now doubled in size. With Mondo’s help, the women have a small facility to come together and weave baskets. In 2015, they sent 350 baskets to Estonia. Around half of the weavers are widowed women, whose position in the society is low, and the majority of them have not been able to access basic literacy education. In the fall of 2014, Triin Kordemets went to Congo as a volunteer designer for Mondo. A year later, Anne-Liis Leht visited the village with the same purpose, and the baskets we sell are the fruit out of the cooperation of volunteers and local artisans.

Some of the sewn goods sold by Mondo are made in Kongo. Sewing is, in fact, one of the few small business initiatives the women of the village engage. The village centre is full of ateliers, where the locals have their formal clothes made. Georgina, Constance, Lariba, and Pufaba are the seamstresses that Mondo buys its sewn goods from. In addition, Mondo supports Georgina’s four apprentices, local young girls who have discontinued middle school either because of maternity at a young age or due to low income.

Kampala Disabled Initiatives, Uganda

Kampala Disabled Initiatives was created with support from Mondo in 2014 as a sewing and crafts organisation for women with special needs. Liina Viira, an Estonian designer, helped refine the women’s sewing skills and develop the KDI handbag series to stand out on the market. The same products are also sold in Estonia, in Mondo’s shop. In 2018, KDI was registered as a community organisation of 10 members. In addition to Mondo, KDI sells their product in Kampala tourist shop chain and has also shipped their first orders to Canada. KDI earns additional income by offering locals sewing workshops. KDI in social media:

Afghanistan: Zardozi

Zardozi, meaning “golden embroidery” in Persian, was established almost 30 years ago to offer an opportunity to earn a living for war refugees arriving from Pakistan to Afghanistan at that time. Today, thousands of Afghan women living in the rural areas of eastern Afghanistan and in the refugee camps of border areas earn a stable income through Zardozi by embroidering and making handicrafts. Personal income gives the women a better position in the family and the community, and enables them to receive medical care and educate their children. NGO Mondo is marketing the products of Zardozi in Estonia to support Afghan women’s entrepreneurship and better welfare.

Afghanistan: Silk Road Bamiyan

The handcrafted goods of the Afghan company Silk Road Bamiyan are made by artisans from Dragon Valley, a rural area in Afghanistan. Making embroidery on hand-loomed garments, and crafting teddy bears in national dress help the women of the war-ridden state to preserve artisan skills and earn an income.