>> What does “Karama” mean?
Karama (pronounced kuh-rah-muh) is an Arabic word meaning dignity and a Swahili word meaning gift from the heart.
>> What is a social enterprise?
Karama operates as a social enterprise, which means that we are a nonprofit organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human well-being, rather than maximizing profits for external shareholders. In a nutshell, our main goal is empowering people, not making money for ourselves.
>> What is fair trade and how does Karama practice fair trade?
Every purchase you make matters. Whether it's coffee, clothes or a new necklace, someone's hands held and crafted that product first. But most often, those hand have been exploited by the current trade system that has left an ever-increasing gap between the developed and developing world. A system that has forced millions of workers in poorer countries into unsafe, unjust and unfair conditions.
But Fair Trade changes everything. Instead of simply sending aid to alleviate poverty, it helps consumers build trading partnerships with farmers, artisans, and communities around the world to ensure better prices, safe working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade. It addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which usually discriminate against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and change their lives for the better.
At Karama's core, we believe in placing dignity on women and families through creative, purposeful work. Through every transaction, we're committed to providing quality handcrafted merchandise at fair wages that will empower women and men to lift themselves out of poverty into lives full of dignity and hope.
>> Who are the artisans Karama works with?
Karama partners with organizations throughout Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Zanzibar that employ marginalized people, meaning those who are living in extreme poverty, have physical disabilities, are HIV-positive, are single parents, or have few opportunities in their areas. Karama staff and volunteers regularly visit the artisans at their workplaces and homes to ensure that they are being treated with dignity and to build relationships with the amazing people who make our products.
>> Where does the money go?
As a nonprofit, we reinvest our profits in artisans through product purchases and donate a minimum of 15% of our total sales revenue each year to YoungLife Africa, a youth-empowerment organization that reaches out to young people and builds leadership skills while sharing the teachings of Jesus Christ. We are committed to ensuring our artisans are paid a living wage; therefore, the organizations and artisans, not Karama, decide payment for work and products.
>> Do my products ship direct from Africa?
Products featured on our website are warehoused in the USA. Products are packaged within 1-3 business days of placing order. Shipping time is 2-5 days within the USA.
>> Where are you located?
Karama headquarters and storefront are located in Evansville, Indiana. We also have a remote office in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
6840 Logan Dr, Ste B
Evansville, IN 47715
Evansville Boutique Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.