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Prokritee in Bangladash

"Before accepting the chance offered by Prokritee, we have no working opportunity which has immensely discouraged us to socialise with others. After joining the group, our family has the financial terms to satisfy our basic needs and to offer education to our children. My husband is pleased and contented right now. Feeling more comfortable to travel further now, we are able to build up our interpersonal relationships.  We learn a lot when we work and we earn what we deserved."  - Shamema, producer in Hajiganj Handicrafts

Prokritee, an independent organization initiated by Mennonite Central Committee, has transformed numerous Bangladeshi women’s lives, families and their community since 2001.

Prokritee is a service-based agency providing managerial, product design and development, and marketing assistance to the poor rural women in Bangladesh. It also develops new techniques and products with natural resources available in Bangladesh and provides handicraft trainings to over 800 women. Managing 8 enterprises specialized from producing handmade paper, coconut, weave baskets made from Kaisa grass and palm leaves to products made from jute and hemp, Prokritee offers jobs to poor rural women who are widows, divorcees or head-of-households with little or no income to help raise their standard of living.

The Story of Budhobala

Northern Bangladash is the poorest region in the whole country. The locals make their living mostly through agricultural pursuits but are often exploited by landlords who employ them to work on their farmlands. One of Prokritee's social enterprise branches, Hajiganj Handcrafts, employs 178 local women to do basket-weaving. Budhobala, one of the employees in Hajiganj Handcrafts, could only work at her home as she has to take care of her chronically ill husband. Apart from receiving decent weekly wages from her work, she is able to gain access to the imperative back-up fund set up by Prokritee in order to make sure her husband's medical expenditures are covered.

The Story of Minoti Mondal

Minoti has 2 sons and 2 daughters but solely relying on her husband's income was not enough to feed the family. Her families' living standard has risen significantly after she had joined Prokritee's branch - Bagdha Enterprise. She learnt how to produce wood-crafted toys and hessian gloves from scratch when she first joined. And now, she is capable of sewing a pair of gloves every day. All four of her children have completed secondary education and the 23 year-old son even became a businessman. Minoti thoroughly appreciates Prokritee and said she will be willing to work for them as long as she is capable of.

Appendix I Hajiganj Handicrafts

Appendix II  FAIR CIRCLE Fair Trade Exposure - Bangladash

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