CJW - CORR - The Jute Works
- promote and assist in the formation of handicraft producers as economically viable groups
- organise rural destitute women and provide them with skill education for producing handicrafts as a supplementary source of income for their socio-economic development
- promote thrift, self-help and democratic practices among the handicraft producers in the management of their affairs and make them self-reliant through group action
- provide facilities for training for the artisans and employees of the trust by co-ordinating with other agencies both at home and abroad in the interests of the trust and its beneficiaries
- participate in national and international fairs, workshops and seminars on handicrafts
- initiate welfare activities for poor people such as the provision of housing, education, recreation and health care facilities for better living conditions
- establish charitable and development funds for the well-being of poor artisans irrespective of caste, creed and race.
CJW contributes to a Caritas programme which runs schools for disadvantaged and ethnic communities in remote places where previously there was no access to education for the children.
The membership is currently comprised of 4060 craftspeople, of whom only 294 are men mostly working in clay and cane baskets, in 163 artisan groups. New members of the groups do not become registered members for 6 months, although they are able to earn during this time. Most members in the 19 different districts are female; there are even 100 female potters in what used to be a predominantly male preserve. There are five groups of indigenous people, 20 in each group, in the north-east and the south-east. Their primary concern is getting their land registered in their names to protect it from government "protection".
A Caritas silk project which has merged with CJW since 2010 and involves the process from mulberry trees to worms to finished product reaches 405 rural women as direct beneficiaries
In all their financial dealings CJW adheres to the principles of fair trade. CJW is very active in training, providing product design assistance and skills' enhancement and training that deals with issues that affect artisansâ€™ lives (e.g. training in leadership development, womenâ€™s rights, HIV-AIDS awareness, health, the environment and accounting). CJW also uses part of the funds from craft sales to provide educational support to poor students who would not otherwise have a chance to attend school. A criteria for membership of producer groups is that producers' children must attend school.
In July 2008 the rate for artisans was increased from Taka 9 to Taka 13 per hour. To assist the membersâ€™ savings, micro credit, loan and time payment schemes are all available. CJW staff who visit regularly, strongly encourage members to save.
Many members have helped themselves through loans and savings; loans have been used to buy livestock, lease land and purchase small vehicles for transport. Most producers now have houses and poultry, and many have cows and goats as well as vegetable plots. Their standard of living has improved markedly compared with the early days of CJW. In addition, CJW has been allocating some of its surplus back to Caritas (Catholic agency for justice, peace and development) for educational support in the diocese.
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