Bangladesh Artisans

At Ten Thousand Villages, we work with over 20,000 makers. Of those 20,000 many of those are women.

Not only do these women earn a sustainable income and develop new skills, they are able provide for their families; whether it is having flexible working hours to tend for their children and household duties, or that they are able to pick up the supplies to work from their home, these makers are forging a brighter future.

With Mother’s Day approaching, we wanted to share the stories of some of our maker mothers in fair trade. Each story reflects strength, hard work and hope.

In Hajiganj Handicrafts, a small workshop located near Saidpur, Rashida takes a few seconds to look after her eigh-month-old son Shumy, all the while holding with her feet the lid of a basked made with kaisa grass and palm leaves. For nearly 10 years, this work has enabled her to provide for herself and her children.


Jenny, maker with Sapia, Colombia:

“I dream to have the resources to give my children a good education and that they can become professionals. I dream they will graduate from college. “

“Before joining Sapia, I had another job in a company and I had almost no time to share with my family. The biggest one has been to have time with my family. Sharing with my kids and be aware of the children. Besides I have had the fortune of generating income to improve my home and the quality of life.”


Jothi maker with Blue Mango, India:

“Blue Mango is good to my family by giving me a steady income and helping to educate our children.”

“I joined Blue Mango in 2012 because we needed the money.  Blue Mango is my first job outside the home.”

“My two daughters go to the Blue Mango Tuition Center and are studying well.”

“Right now we’re concentrating on our kids’ education. I hope to stay for a long time as my savings will allow me to fulfill my dream of sending my children to school, giving them the chance I never had”


Joyanti from Prokritee, Bangladesh:

“Currently, I am really happy with the financial condition of my family. Jobarpar has saved the lives of my kids and mine.”

“Working with Jobarpar Enterprise (JE) has not only given me an opportunity to support my family but also made me a respectable member in my community.”

“I come from a poor family who often struggled to provide me the basic needs to subsist. When I was just 16, my parents arranged my marriage with a local man whose family’s financial condition was no better than mine, if not worse. Nevertheless, I didn’t complain and became a good housewife–just like I was supposed to be. Within a few years into my marriage, I was blessed with two beautiful children, whose existence only made things worse for my husband. He was constantly struggling to bear the family expenses; and suddenly one day, due to the extreme fatigue he was going through, he fell sick. Things started going downhill for my family from that point, as the doctors told me that my husband wouldn’t be able work anymore.”

“I decided to leave my post as a housewife and start looking for a job. It’s uncommon for a woman to be the breadwinner in a Bangladeshi family, so my husband hesitated at first; but after considering the family’s dire financial condition, my husband supported my resolution.”

“For a while, I was only doing odd jobs, until I stumbled upon Jobarpar Enterprise in the year of 1999. The managers of Jobarpar Enterprise were kind to me and gave me a job, even though I had no prior experience of paper making. Thus, I began my wonderful journey with Jobarpar Enterprise.”

“Both of my kids go to school. My son is studying in 12th grade and my daughter is in 9th grade. I want to see my kids become successful members of my community. I want to see them living fulfilling lives of their own.

“My husband is doing well now, as I am able to afford a better medical care for him. He runs a drugstore in our village. Also, I paid off all my loans that I took from local NGOs. Moreover, with the saved up money from my provident fund, I have recently bought a piece of land in my village, and I plan on building a house for my family there.”

“I am really thankful to Jobarpar Enterprise, as well as Prokritee, the parent organization of JE, for providing me the opportunity to support my family and implementing fair trade policies into its system.”


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