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Introducing our Angel Artisan – Jaya! (Artisan)

When we visited producer groups in Bangladesh recently, we found Jaya making a string of angels out of Parthi grass. She was putting beads onto the angels to form their heads. She can make approximately 15 angels in one day. Jaya and her coworkers also make baskets, coasters, hats, and other Christmas decorations.

Jaya has been working with this producer group for the past 25 years. A lot has changed since she started. Her husband passed away many years ago, which meant she had to take on all the responsibility for the family’s finances.

Thanks to the training and income from this work, she was able to become financially independent! She has been able to support her children to go to school and has even made improvements to their home.

When she first started, Jaya did not know how to make any of the products and needed to be taught. Now, she is a master artisan and can make the products only by seeing them. She understands the qualities of the different materials and knows exactly how to work with them. She has even made some designs herself!

Over the past 25 years, she has seen this producer group develop and grow. At first, they only made baskets, but now they make many more things! The number of their orders has also increased. This has meant that there can be a steady flow of work and income for her.

Her children (one son - 20 & one daughter - 23) are now grown up and have their own jobs. She no longer has to provide financial support for them, rather, they are now able to support her.

Jaya continues to work and plans to work until her son gets married. Then she will stop working and live with him and her future daughter, as is customary.

Jaya enjoys her work and all the friendships she has made there. But she looks forward to retiring soon too. She wants to spend lots of time with her future grandchildren! She hopes to have them in her life soon…

When you buy gifts for your friends and family, you are supporting artisans like Jaya in Bangladesh, and others around the world, to earn a dignified living and support their families!

Thank you and God bless you!

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