Totonga Bomoi

@totongabomoi // Democratic Republic of Congo

“Our cooperative began with a simple request. While volunteering in Congo, my good friend asked for help generating income to build a home for her family. Recognizing her talent as a seamstress, I requested that she make 25 African handbags that I could sell to family and friends. Soon after Mama Aroyo received her profits, other women in the village expressed their interest in our project.”

activities

“In 2014, I returned to Congo to hold our first cooperative meeting with 10 local women. In 2015, we partnered with Yobel International to provide a business-training workshop for the cooperative. Today, our cooperative’s capacity for confidence has grown tremendously. In addition to intl. orders, our cooperative has a shop in town to serve their own community.”

“Totonga Bomoi means Build Our Future in the local Congolese language of Lingala!!”

“Each of our products are named after villages in the DRC. For example, our Aba Head Wrap is named after a remote city located in northeastern DRC. It has been a safe haven to thousands of Sudanese families over the years who fled civil wars in Sudan from 1955 to 1972 and 1983 to 2005. The fabric is purchased by our artisans at local markets. The designs often reflect nationality and cultural traditions.”

headwrap

“Our two collections (men’s formal wear and women’s head wraps) are intentional as we invite men into the world of ethical trade and I can not express enough the positive responses that we receive from women purchasing our head wraps for mothers, sisters, and friends undergoing chemo treatments. We are very grateful to be the bridge of beauty and support!”-Katie Hile (Founder)

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