+1 571-297-6383 | info@sonjara.com

Our History

Sonjara, Inc. is a woman-owned small business based in Annandale, VA, minutes away from Washington, DC. Since its founding in 2002 by co-owners Siobhan and Melissa Green, Sonjara has been providing technology expertise to the foreign assistance and domestic NGO community.

Our passion is to marry our deep international development expertise with the promise and power of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Our global experience includes Asia, Latin America & Caribbean, Northern Africa and the Middle East, as well as Sub Saharan Africa (specifically West Africa).

Our services are:

Our Mission

People First: We understand the people part of technology; the driving force for any solution is the people the solution serves. The technology is a multiplier of human effort; if we don't get the human part right, technology will get you a lot of wrong stuff. 

Thoughtful: We think strategically and do our research. We are always learning from our experiences and those of our partners, and we think about trade-offs and balances in decision making. 

Effective: We focus on effective and accountable usage of technology solutions. We learn from our experiences, both successful and not, and bring that experience to continually improve our services. 

Ethical: Our ethical values infuse everything we do; respect, honesty, integrity, transparency, dedication, and pragmatism are central to our work. Our team has expertise in and passion for socially-focused topics such as education, gender equality, the environment, international development, and social justice issues.

Efficient: Through the use of Fakoli, our open source rapid application framework, we offer high quality, rapid custom web applications at a fraction of the cost and risk of traditional software development. We also will partner with local and outsourced technology firms as required to bring you cost effective solutions. 

Sustainable:  Sonjara offers full lifecycle support, from identifying the purpose and goals of the web project, to building web tools, through the full scope of maintenance. Our maintenance services include content management (writing, editing, sourcing), technical support, usability improvements, new features and functionality development, training, and security, archival and backups. Our solutions evolve as your needs evolve.

The Sonjara Story

What does Sonjara mean?

Sonjara is a transliteration of Sundiata, the first king of Mali. The story of Sundiata is a classic West African tale of a boy who started with low expectations and turned into one of the most powerful people in history. The mythos of this leader is full of magic, stories of daring and suspense, and themes of loyalty and trust. | Wikipedia Article on Sundiata Keita

How did you decide to take Sonjara as your company name?

When Siobhan and Melissa started dating, Siobhan was finishing her Master's in Anthropology of International Development, where she was focusing on West Africa. She shared the famous story of Sundiata with Melissa, and they both agreed that it was a compelling story and a strong name. They decided that "Sonjara" would make a great name for a company or product; meaningful and unusual, as well as easy to pronounce and spell.

Years later, when looking for a name for their fledgling company, they remembered Sonjara.

What is the logo?

The logo is an image of a male antelope, taken from a statue given to Siobhan by her mother. The statue is from Mali originally, and is from the Bambara tradition. 

Antelope Statue

Our Team

We have a creative and talented team with international experience in over ten countries and in numerous development sectors. Sonjara embraces diverse perspectives, bringing genuine dedication and energy into everything we do. 

See our current team of technology professionals

Sonjara Company Culture

Sonjara uses a Results Only Work Environment (ROWE)-inspired personnel management approach. While we use traditional time tracking and core hours (due to Government contracting and Department of Labor requirements), we focus our team management approach on results and productivity maximization. To support this approach, we offer radical flexibility for work schedule and location, accompanied by high expectations for performance, especially collaboration and communication. We find our employees, all passionate professionals with deep experience, thrive in such an environment.

For more information on working with Sonjara as a Partner, employee or consultant, please visit the Opportunities section of our site.