Magdalena lives in rural Bangladesh. She has endured extreme poverty most of her life, devastating natural disasters, and war — which left her a homeless widow.
Left with nothing but her grief, and faced with raising her children alone, Magdalena and the women in her village banded together.
The women were introduced to a group called CORR The Jute Works, so-called for the local jute fibre used in their crafts. Among these were sikas, traditional macramé-like hangers, which became Trade Aid’s very first product in 1973.
Through their craft work, the impoverished, mostly illiterate women not only grew to be self-reliant, owning houses and land, they broke the cycle of poverty. They passed their places in their group onto new generations and they educated their children. Many became university graduates, and Magdalena’s daughter is now the headmistress of a school of 862 pupils and 28 teachers.
Extraordinary change in just one generation.