Our fair trade partner organization, Prokritee, provides employment to rural, disadvantaged women, many of whom are widows, single mothers, or heads-of-household with little or no income. Your purchase gives hope, dignity, and opportunity to disadvantaged women in some of the poorest parts of Bangladesh, helping to improve their standard of living and to send their children to school.
Part of a job creation program in handicrafts, Prokritee was formed by the Mennonite Central Committee in 2001. Driven by the goal that all rural women of Bangladesh, regardless of caste or creed, become valued, contributing members of society, Prokritee provides women skill development training. Throughout the country, women are given productive employment, design assistance, and sustainable links to new markets for the handicrafts. Prokritee, which means "nature" in Bengali, specializes in sustainable, natural materials, enhancing the organization's commitment to integrity, simplicity, and non-violence. Focused on employment rather than maximized profits, the organization also seeks to preserve the cultural heritage of Bangladesh. Currently, more than 1,000 women work with Prokritee's ten handicraft centers and its partner organizations.