Artisans work alongside other women in shared community workspaces. Sometimes they choose to work from home, where they can also care for their family and tend to daily chores. Although highly skilled, they hail from the poorest and most disadvantaged communities in Bangladesh, so access to education, training and health care has been very limited.
By working with The Dharma Door, these women are breaking this cycle by using their traditional weaving and craft skills. Together with our NGO partners, they set the price for each piece based on the time it takes to make; intricacy of design; and the cost of the raw materials.
Being paid fairly is undoubtedly life-changing. However a host of other wonderful benefits also arise through their work: the pride of making something beautiful with their own hands; the camaraderie of learning new skills alongside other women; earning respect from their families and community; the dignity of being able to buy new clothes; and the opportunity to educate themselves and their children.
Motivated to empower people out of the cycle of discrimination and poverty, these groups also support artisans in other powerful ways. Our NGO Partners have been created to support the most disadvantaged and marginalised people in each region, so they identify the needs within a community and develop strategies to assist them to become self-sufficient. We partner with these groups via their economic and women’s empowerment programs. This provides us with the opportunity to work with such skilled artisans.
Our partners employ design, production and field staff to source, store and distribute the raw materials for each order; train artisans in quality, and how to make our designs; and pay artisans when work is complete. By working with groups who truly do have the best interest of the artisans at heart, we know that our contribution is reaching the right place.
This approach means that we are also proudly part of a much bigger picture, that enables the artisans to benefit from a host of other life-changing support.