Stories of Change

Jonti - supporting a community
Jonti holding up one of her products

Jonti - supporting a community

Jonti joined a fair trade paper making organisation when her husband’s illness left the family with no income. Through her earnings she was able to take her husband to hospital for treatment and, later, buy a medicine shop in the village. Today they run an essential service in the community. Their two children are now at school and the couple are able to support Jonti’s ageing parents-in-law.

All this in one of the world’s poorest countries. About 20 per cent of the rural population in Bangladesh live in extreme poverty. Women are among the poorest of the rural poor, especially when they are the head of their households, such as widows, divorcees or wives of men who have gone elsewhere in search of employment. They own no cultivable land or assets, are often illiterate, and many do not own their own homes. They suffer discrimination because of their gender, they have few income-earning opportunities and their nutritional intake is often inadequate.

Jonti was one of the rural poor before she joined Jobarpar, a small craft enterprise in southern Bangladesh providing much needed income for its 56 women producers. After two or three years of working for Jobarpar members are able to own land, access loans through a producers’ savings fund and, most importantly for the village women, send their children to school.

Jobarpar is one of the seven groups supported by Trade Aid partner Prokritee and Jonti's paper products are available in Trade Aid shops.
Read more about Prokritee »

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