When female unemployment in Zimbabwe was at 97%, a bunch of smart women got together and created a knitting cooperative. Knitting, they explained, is easy and can be done anywhere! They called their group Gogo Olive: ‘Gogo’ means ‘granny’ and olive branch represents peace.

They knit stuffed animal toys which are as funky as their name and they call them ‘shamwari’, which means ‘friends.’ These little creatures are among our best sellers in our Global Handicrafts’ shop.

00Gogo Olive Handicrafts

IMG_7256When we buy products from Gogo Olive (and many others) for our Global Handicrafts store, Crossroads not only pays the ‘fair trade’ minimum. We pay an additional sum which the women use to invest back into their community and families. The Gogo Olive ‘grannies’ told us they had recently bought eyeglasses for some of their workers with this ‘premium’ payment. It was a joy to see photos of the proud faces of these middle-aged craftswomen wearing their new glasses, for some the first glasses they had owned.

Buy now!

You can support the craftswomen of Zimbabwe’s Gogo Olive by buying their ‘shamwari’ toys in our online store here! Or, visit our real life store at Crossroads’ Village for a wider range.

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Gogo Olive was set up in Mutare in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe in November 2008 to give local women the opportunity to use their craft skills to build a future for themselves and their families. They chose knitting because the materials are basic and cheap, it can be done anywhere and at any time and is a skill that is practical and profitable for the women to learn. Each knitted animal, or ‘Shamwari’ (meaning ‘friend’ in the local Shona language) is lovingly handmade with individuality and character!

Gogo Olive Handicrafts

Shop Now!

Browse Global Handicrafts’ full online range here or visit our shop at Crossroads Village to walk through our colourful global marketplace, with even more handmade delights from around the world, all of which care for the people who made them.

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Zambia Snapshot

Zambia Snapshot

Population: 14.83 million

Capital: Lusaka

Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, with a tropical climate.

74.5% of people in Zambia live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 per day.

40% of children are involved in some kind of child labour

1.1 million people are living with HIV.

map

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