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CORR - The Jute Works, Bangladesh

"Joining the crafts group not only allows us to earn more, but most importantly, to let us gain respect from the neighbourhood." - Women producer living in one of Dhaka's refugee camps

CORR- The Jute Work, partner of FAIR CIRCLE, has been working inside the refugee camps in Dhaka in the past 35 years.  They provide jute making and sewing trainings for the women who lives inside these camps.

In 1971, Bangladesh was independence from Pakistan, resulting in serious bloodshed and casualties after war. Millions of refugees stranded in Bangladesh, they and their descendants have been living as a second-class citizens.  Lack of education, housing and other social and economic factors are hindering their search for job and development opportunities.

The main aim behind CORR's establishment is to assist the refugees to resecure their livelihood. Up to the present days, CORR has been helping more than 4000 local producers to earn their respect from the community in 19 different provinces in Bangladash. CORR - The Jute Works also provides training to the refugees and plays an important role guiding the 168 cooperative societies set up by the locals.

CORR - The Jute Works has a producer development department which visits cooperative societies regularly to ensure the fair trade products being produced are up to par. They are also responsible for the local market development.

The Story of Harie Mohon Paal

Harie Moon Paal (on the right) is the chair of the terra-cotta producers group.Harie was taught by his father the skill set behind the making of terra cotta, which is a traditional skill set inherited through their ancestors. However, crafters are being classed as "pariah", a low social class, which has been treated unfairly in the past centuries. When Far Trade Power paid a visit to the group, we were amazed by the quality of the handicrafts made by Harie and his fellows.

CORR - The Jute Works provided them connections to the market and has given technical support and design advices to them. Other than the above aids, The Jute Works also offers help to the local community's R&D on renewable energy and its utilisation to their production processes.

The Story of Tabasieme Begum
Tabasieme Begum is in her twenties and has a 2-year-old daughter. They are living in a refugee camp in the central of Dhaka. She has joined a jute cooperative group two years from now and is making jute shoes together with the other 20 members, earning about US$40 per month. Apart from producing fair trade jute products, CORR - The Jute Works hold regular seminars to educate the locals too, for instance, preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), human trafficking, etc. When our representatives ask what will Tabasieme do after she has completed the training, she said she will share what she learnt with her neighbours. All members in the cooperative group feels that the most profound change after they have joined is earning respect from the community they are living in.
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