Cultivating Hope: Women of Fair Trade (2 nights)

ACR 304-201
  • Join forces with SAS “Impact partner”, Global Mamas!
  • Explore how Global Mamas is creating economic opportunities for women through the production and world-wide distribution of fair trade products.
  • Engage in meaningful discussions, form new friendships, and support the mission of an organization doing incredible work!
Program Overview
Country: Ghana
Depart: Oct 29, 2019 6:00 AM
Return: Oct 31, 2019 9:00 PM
Duration: Overnight Program
Capacity: 21
Category: Lean In
Program Fee
$0.00 (early booking: $0.00)

Field Work Conflicts
  • PSY-100-81942 General Psychology
  • BUS-220-83294 Ethics in Contemporary Organizations

This program is restricted to students participating in the Impact Project Cohort. Open registration will not be available. 

Semester at Sea is thrilled to announce a partnership with Global Mamas as one of our Chapman Impact Fund* awardees. In addition to funding the cost of participation in this Field Program for the Impact Cohort, the fund is proud to support Global Mamas’ efforts in constructing Africa’s first Fair Trade Zone – a centralized manufacturing facility of fair trade products that will provide sustainable livelihoods to 200 women.

Global Mamas (GM), a Ghanaian NGO employing 340 women and selling products in 24 countries, believes enhancing women’s access to formal employment is paramount in creating economic growth, reducing poverty, and achieving social justice. Founded with just six seamstresses, the organization has grown organically through the utilization of skilled craftswomen, local knowledge, and deep sourcing relationships. It was the first significant “fair trade fashion” producer in the US and has grown to meet the increasing demand of fair trade products worldwide. Global Mamas is a Guaranteed Member of the World Fair Trade Organization, assuring consumers that production of Global Mamas products is responsible – socially, environmentally, and economically.

Over a quarter of Ghana’s population lives below the poverty line¹. With the unemployment rate at 11.9%, nearly 60% of those unemployed being women, Ghana faces major challenges with respect to increasing decent jobs, tackling underemployment, and addressing significant gender gaps in work opportunities. Gender inequalities in Ghana are intergenerational; disadvantaged women have disadvantaged daughters. Global Mamas tackles gender inequality by offering women well-paid employment in growth industries and re-investing profits into a range of programs that complement and enhance the socioeconomic lives of women. GM plans to construct and operate Africa’s first Fair Trade Zone (FTZ) – a centralized manufacturing facility of fair trade products that will provide sustainable livelihoods to 200 women.

Impact Project cohort members will have the opportunity to directly engage with Global Mamas staff and artisans at the Global Mamas Cape Coast office. Here they will join forces with Global Mamas’ “mamas” to explore four unique project areas designed to improve Global Mamas marketing and design operations. Project opportunities will include:  developing “Meet the Mamas” online profiles, working with GM designers to create a new batik design, staging lifestyle photography for Batik accessories, and developing strategies for social media and email communication. This is a great opportunity for cohort members to learn the ins and outs of a fair trade business and make deep connections while in Ghana!

*The Chapman Impact Fund was created to help Semester at Sea significantly elevate its commitment to responsible travel through a long-term partnership with, and investment in, local organizations. Through a competitive proposal review process, SAS selected two community partners for our Fall 2019 Voyage. These partners are creating lasting change in their communities and are actively working to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place now and for generations to come. The Fund provides a Direct Capacity Building Grant to support their organizational missions (beyond what we can achieve on Field Programs!) and includes a follow-up opportunity for students to stay engaged with their organizations after the voyage is over. SAS voyagers have the awesome opportunity to experience the great work of these organizations and support their causes by participating in these custom-designed Field Programs.

¹The Labour Market in Ghana, P. 35 SASK, December 2009.


Day 1

  • Travel to Cape Coast
  • Batik Workshop
  • Lunch with GS Development Director
  • Explore Cape Coast Castle
  • Project briefing
  • Travel to guest house
  • Dinner with Global Mamas staff
  • Drumming and dancing workshop
  • Overnight at guest house

Day 2

  • Breakfast
  • Visit Global Mamas office: Overview, GS Fair Trade Production Model, introduction of projects and project groups
  • Lunch
  • Project work time
  • Cooking workshop
  • Overnight at guest house

Day 3

  • Breakfast with GS Designer
  • Project work time
  • Closing lunch at GS office with GS staff
  • Project work time
  • Present projects and celebration
  • Travel back to port

***Times and activities are tentative and subject to change. Please be flexible!***

Meals Included

Day 1: lunch, dinner
Day 2: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Special Note

  • This program is restricted to students participating in the Impact Project Cohort. Open registration will not be available. 
  • Students who are selected to be a part of the “Impact Project Cohort” (via the scholarship application process) are required to participate in this program and will be automatically registered.
  • All participants will be expected to attend preparatory meetings and complete associated readings in advance of participation.
  • All participants will be eligible to apply for a Fellowship grant that will provide a paid internship with Global Mamas post-voyage.