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About Angaza Taa

Angazaa Taa strives to combine fashion with sustainability, community development, and environmental awareness. Each tote bag has a unique design tailored to represent and directly fund various grassroots movements in East and Southern Africa, making a tangible change in their communities connected to biodiversity and environmental conservation, women's and girls' economic empowerment and education, and more. We prioritize transparency, so we do our best to make the initiatives we support accessible for you to learn about what resonates with us from their platform. Totes are versatile in terms of use; they can be the perfect gift for your friends, company guests, and for special events. You're " tote-ally" helping us make a difference, one bag at a time.

Meet the Team

Meet our dynamic team, a collective of passionate individuals dedicated to innovation, expertise, and collaborative excellence, working together to drive positive impact and deliver exceptional results.

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The Story: 
From the Founder

Ally Karabu, 2023

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I am so pleased to share the back story of Angaza Taa. I'm an undergrad student studying Global Development and Political Science and have had a growing passion for global development for as long as I can remember. The nature of my Dad's employment with the United Nations granted me great global exposure from a young age. I was born in Iowa, USA, but soon left on my global adventure. We lived in Rwanda, Tanzania, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya (to which I consider my home), and finally, where I currently study, Canada. Having seen and lived in so many culturally and historically rich nations - it was a trend that these same countries faced adverse political, economic and/or social challenges. It opened my eyes to the many different and similar challenges communities face globally. It inspired a plethora of ideas on ways I can help, it also brought an awareness to the danger of aiding with the mentality of being a 'saviour', recognizing the communities as capable of implementing the change they desire when provided with support and resources. 

 

I did what I could within my communities, engaging in several 'hands-on' initiatives, from crafting reusable sanitary products for girls in lower-income households in Ethiopia to preparing and serving meals in soup kitchens in Halifax, Canada. It sparked an interest in wanting to find ways to make the larger society we live in supportive of disadvantaged communities and endangered environments. So I explored more bureaucratic and advocative roles. For the past five years, I have participated in various Model of United Nations (MUN) conferences, where conditions of the UN General Assembly and other multilateral bodies engage - allowing students to lobby, collaborate, write resolutions, and debate on pressing global issues. 

 

it was my position in the ICJ Committee at EAMUN (East African MUN) in Nairobi, Kenya, and my role on the Human Rights Committee at McMUN with McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I currently volunteer with WUSC (World University Service of Canada) and their local committee at my university as the SRP (Student Refugee Program) Chair, promoting the non-profit organization's mission and advocating for equitable education opportunities by sponsoring refugee students. 

I am so grateful for these opportunities and experiences. But the more research, critical analysis and reflection I completed I came to learn how many international stakeholders and organizations of 'development' are misinformed or overly invested in economic opportunity as opposed to addressing underlying systemic and/or systematic faults in a society. The said 'aid' often ends up disadvantaging and inconveniencing the very communities it intended to help. So I set out to employ an understanding of the 'power of the local' and artsy hobbies to develop the concept of Angaza Taa in Grade 11— to maximize focus on local grassroots and non-profit organizations by the people, for the people supported by the selling of tote bags. I became set on doing something that can be an ethical and meaningful purchase while spreading knowledge of organizations and movements making a difference in their communities within Africa.

 

Sustainable development is vital to addressing climate change, ocean, wildlife, forest conservancy, community infrastructure development, health care, and education. They require a holistic consideration and approach to account for economic, social, and environmental factors. That is why 30% of funds for each product directly support selected projects and organizations, elaborate in a blurb under each product. I am committed to spreading awareness, staying current on global events, and actively seeking opportunities to utilize our team's skills and resources to support Angaza Taa's part in local African development initiatives. We can sometimes get caught up in the idea that we can save the world, and unfortunately, that's not the case, but we can encourage and work within our talents, means, communities and circles to build a more equitable and sustainable world. One small step at a time, one tote at a time.

Having that all said at the end of the day, as a born-again follower of Christ, in the different ways I look to honour God in my life, as Isaiah 1:17 reads, 'I seek to learn to do good, seek justice, correct oppression, bring justice to the fatherless and plead the widow's cause', it is not that I am inherently good out of my own heart, but rather that I find purpose in trusting and partnering with God to do good because He remains eternally good (Luke 18:18-19). 

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