Mother’s Day is such a special time, whether you are a mother, are married to a mother, or just have a mother, it’s so important to celebrate these vital women in our lives. As many of you know, 70% of the artisans who create our products here at Plowsharing are women. Many of them find their motivation in creating a better life for their children. This week an email came to us from Serrv, one of our biggest Fair Trade vendors, about one mother who helps to make some of the beautiful baskets we sell here at Plowsharing. This is her story:
“For more than 12 years, Morsheda has woven beautiful baskets with our partner, Dhaka Handicrafts. Before becoming a weaver, she and her husband earned a steady living as small-scale farmers in their village of Hapunia, Bangladesh. When a nearby river rose and flooded their home and property, they suddenly found themselves without a reliable source of income. Luckily, Morsheda secured work with Dhaka Handicrafts and her husband found seasonal employment in agricultural labor.
Over the years Morsheda has been able to save income through Dhaka Handicraft's artisan savings program. The family built a new hut with their initial savings. More recently, Morsheda dedicated her income towards sending her children to school, including her daughter Afroza (below). Afroza is currently studying at Sherpur Degree College and hopes to join the Bangladesh Army after she completes her college studies. Her success has inspired other young girls in their rural neighborhood to go to school.
Morsheda and her daughter, Afroza
"I appreciate what Dhaka Handicrafts has done for my mother. They trained her and helped earn a good amount of money each month. It is gratifying to realize that Dhaka Handicrafts help many destitute and extremely poor people secure a standard of living. Many girls like me are able to find their hope of life realized and open doors to self-reliance."
We were touched by Morsheda’s story and her dedication to putting her daughter through school so we wanted to share it with you.
In thinking about how Plowsharing can continue to serve mothers, both in our artisans and in our customers I am drawn to thinking about how mothers have served us over the years. Mothers aren’t just represented in our artisans but also in our staff, volunteers, and overwhelmingly in our customers. You would be amazed how many people we have who come in around Mother’s Day to find something for Mom because “this is her favorite store” or “whatever I get from here my Mom LOVES!” or “my mom loves your mission so much that she always tells me to come here to get gifts.” So don’t forget and get something for the mom in your life this mother’s day (even if that mom is you!)
One other thing we wanted to highlight is World Fair Trade day, this year on May13th! World fair trade day is the day when fair trade artisans, vendors, stores, and patrons celebrate Fair Trade’s contribution to the fight against exploitation and poverty. When you don’t spend as much time working with Fair Trade vendors as we do you may not see the impact as clearly as we do but your purchases with us really do make a difference in the lives of artisans in developing nations. Our artisan groups have freed women from the economic desperation forcing them into prostitution, offered artisans the opportunity to send their children to school, allowed artisans to build heath care clinics in their communities, and we could go on and on and on and on. Every year, Plowsharing holds a Fair Trade event at each of our stores and our Fair Trade event comes with a storewide discount. If you can answer a few Fair Trade questions (hints with be posted around the store) you’ll receive 20% off your entire purchase that day(5% per correctly answered question)!
We hope to see you soon!