What does SHONA mean?
It means "sew" in Swahili.
Who funds you?
SHONA shas no outside funding or support. It really is just 5 women, and the work of our hands, and the incredible support of a community of friends who have rallied around us every step of the way. You are part of this community.
Who owns SHONA Congo?
Mapendo, Argentine and Dawn are equal co-owners of SHONA Congo. We are proud to be equal partners and are working very hard to build a sustainable business that will one day be able to support our families (both in Congo and in North America).
What about Riziki and Solange?
Riziki and Solange are independent artisans (just as Argentine and Mapendo also were until they moved to Canada). They are paid 100% of the estimated profit for each item they sew. Paying per piece allows Riziki and Solange to own their own work and be paid more regularly for what they sew, which is necessary in an environment like Congo.
What are your operating expenses?
That is a very important question to ask of every organization. Many organizations, have hefty operating expenses and the artisans are only earning a small fraction of the sales price on a product.
SHONA is extremely lean because we have no other paid staff, no offices and warehouses, and almost no advertising budget. That is why you can make such a big difference with SHONA. You can buy a bag, and know that the money is going straight to the people who made it.
SHONA's regular expenses are:
paypal, bank, and money transfer fees
phone and text communication (skype)
market vendor costs
We strongly believe that ALL TRADE SHOULD BE FAIR TRADE, in its most true sense. But fair trade can't be just about logos and labels. It is about the FAIR AND JUST EXCHANGE OF GOODS. We believe that the best way to do this is the most direct way. The more that we can buy our goods, directly from the people who create them, the better.