Kelowna’s Tanya and Scott Donahue dedicate their lives, and their successful businesses, to helping countries who face profound poverty and fallout from human disaster and violence. The couple have played a leading role in transforming the way international corporations and companies view their take on social responsibility.
Almost eight years and several companies after starting their first humanitarian initiative, in Port Au Prince, Haiti, after the devastating 2010 earthquake, the couple are spear-heading Mango and Moose, International, to help build thriving communities in developing countries around the world.
“With many countries presently facing catastrophic disaster, offering aid is obviously essential,” Tanya said. “But what do we do after the immediate need is taken care of? Aid money will cease once the disaster is mitigated. What comes after? Building desperately needed infrastructure is key.”
The couple is looking to raise funds, to introduce their custom-sourced line of hand-made goods, in Spring 2019. Though not a registered fair-trade company, they adhere strictly to fair-trade principles.
READ ALSO: ETHICAL, LOCAL PRODUCTS
“All of the products we carry are ethically sourced and produced, as per our usual company mandate,” Tanya said. “We focus on sustainable job creation with our artisan partners in Haiti, Guatemala, East Asia, India, Nepal, Mali, Kenya, Uganda, Vietnam, and here in Canada. The launch collections include chic jewellery, accessories, home decor and household utility items, and baby products. Everything we carry is made in the developing countries we are able to support and the money goes to building vital infrastructure, which can then be employed by the people we are helping to build a better life.”
“Among our Ugandan partners, we actually are working with a woman who was former wife to Joseph Kony – leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a notorious rebel group that abducted thousands of children to use as soldiers or sex slaves. This woman’s five children are all fathered by him. She now lives in freedom and makes jewellery for us with this small cooperative. That is amazing to me. Real people, real hardship, real life… and real change… Incidentally, today Kony is wanted on 12 counts of crimes against humanity and 21 counts of war crimes.
“We are looking for Corporate and business-minded people who are interested in investing in a project that empowers people through business instead of aid. We plan to invest in families and in women artisans, by empowering through opportunity. We also want to work with others from the Christian community, as well as humanitarian organizations and self-styled philanthropists – those who are interested in seeing people flourish, and our world change for the better.” Tanya explains. “We are providing an opportunity for investors to support a company that is focused on socially responsible investing,” Tanya said.
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