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Prokritee from Bangladesh

Artisan Prokritee

"A women earning helps the entire family because the women invest their earnings in family. Then the family's betterment brings good impact on the entire community because of money circulation at different levels or circles."

Prokritee (meaning "nature" in Bangla) is an agency that is dedicated to empowering disadvantaged women who have little or no other opportunities. Most of the women employed by Prokritee are the heads of their households because they have been widowed, divorced, or separated, they have little or no income, are landless with few or no assets, and are primarily rural. Prokritee is a service-based agency that provides artisan organizations with management, product design and development, and marketing assistance. By providing jobs and skills for the women they are able to improve the women's standard of living and help them send their children to school. The women are paid a fair wage, offered training on quality awareness, health, savings, and gender equality, and are provided with a medical allowance and assistance, maternity leave, incomes bonuses, and loan options.

Artisan Minoti Mondal

A cheerful woman who enjoys her work, Minoti has been working for Bagdha, one of Prokritee's artisan groups, for twenty years now. Before Minoti was twenty years old she married a poor farmer. Life was a struggle and after having two sons and two daughters, her husband's income was just not enough. She started looking for work and found a handicraft project that was hiring poor and widowed women. She now works primarily with wood, carving wooden toys. The income she has earned has helped her family immensely. Her four children have been able to finish secondary school, and her 23 year old son has gone on to become a businessman. She is happy she was able to help her children further their education, and hopes to work for Bagdha for as long as she can.

Artisan Usha Rani

Today Usha is a very skilled weaver for Hajiganj Handicrafts, one of Prokritee's artisan groups, but it wasn't always that way. When Hajigani was first started, Usha and the other women hired didn't know anything about weaving and had to be trained. The training lasted a couple of months, and by the end the women were able to weave baskets of all different shapes and sizes. Because Usha is highly skilled, she has been promoted to supervisor. She supervises the other producers to makes sure they are weaving quality baskets, and creates samples for customers.

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