ABOUT WILD MONGOO
Wild Mongoo is a retail-based project in George that empowers vulnerable women by providing work and skills training as well as addressing their medical, mental, emotional, spiritual and other needs.
There is a retail shop, online shop and we do custom work for corporate gifts and specialist retailers. Our women are trained in a wide range of skills including sewing, leatherwork, beading, machine embroidery, printing and nail care.
They produce high quality decor items, corporate gifts, jewellery and accessories, pet products, baby products and soft toys. The product range is dynamic to address customised corporate requirements and fashion and décor trends. We also have a nail bar that offer pedicures, manicures and basic nail care.
While our team incorporates women from many backgrounds, our heart is for women in George who have lived and/or worked on the streets, victims of human trafficking, modern slavery, gangsterism and related extreme circumstances.
Wild Mongoo women earn salaries after a three-month introduction programme, irrespective of their level of skill or experience and while they are still in training.
In two years, the programme has grown from eight women working in a tiny attic workshop to 25 women in a double-story studio and shop by December 2023. The first week of 2024 more than 30 new women arrived at our doors wanting to join the programme.
Our dream is at least 1000 women benefiting from the programme and a village of safety in the foreseeable future.
How does the project empower women?
Women considered ‘vulnerable’ have limited options due to disability, extreme circumstances, and threat of personal safety due to a past they have left behind such as prostitution, human trafficking, modern slavery and gangsterism.
Wild Mongoo gives them options – not just by providing work and skills training but also addressing medical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. The estimated two-year programme includes business management training, personal finance guidance, emotional support and counselling.
Ongoing assessment and aptitude tests help to assist with long-term goalsetting and life skills development according to their talents and interests. The ultimate goal is to reintroduce confident, equipped women into society who can provide for their families and contribute effectively to the wider community.
When women are ready, they are guided to find employment beyond the Wild Mongoo workshop or are mentored to start and build their own businesses. By December 2023, one of our women had successfully run a professional embroidery business inside the Wild Mongoo Studio for a year, and another was preparing to open a spaza shop in her neighbourhood.
Beyond the street
When a woman sign up for the programme, Wild Mongoo assists her wider context by connecting her to various social agencies to help with drug rehabilitation, medical care, child and social services, temporary accommodation, and other needs.
Wild Mongoo has a small ‘safe house’ where up to four women can stay to protect them from potentially violent retribution for leaving, and to give them a fighting chance for recovery away from negative influences.
The bigger dream is to have a well-supported safehouse as well as a village-type step-over facility near their original communities to support sustainable, safe reintegration where possible.
While operational costs are supported by Soft Landings NPC, our women’s salaries and aid services must be covered by sponsorships, grants and fundraising. While we are excited by the recent growth, we now need additional funding to cover salaries for as many women possible.
Proceeds from the shop, online shop and orders are re-invested in materials and equipment to support and expand the project.
Many of the women in the programme were sex workers reached by the Azaria Street Ministry, in association with Ethnos Movement International NPC.
Ethnos also provides auxiliary services including a creche and clinic in the George CBD.
You can help
Buy our products in the shop at 124B York Street (next to Fat Fish, behind George Tourism), George, South Africa.
Buy our products online at https://wildmongoo.co.za
Enquire about our corporate gift and specialised wholesale options by mailing email@example.com
To make a once-off donation, go to https://wildmongoo.co.za/once-off-donation/
To make a monthly deductible donation or sponsor a woman’s salary, mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration for tax purposes in South Africa: Soft Landings NPC Nr 2011 / 123898 / 08
The Wild Mongoo name
‘Wild Mongoo’ is a made-up name and is not derived from another name or language. To us, it just means an exciting, safe, uplifting space in which women can find purpose, love, self-confidence and belonging.
In case you haven’t noticed, we love the colour pink, which represents strength in femininity. Our vibe is happy, sassy, hopeful and unique.