This is going to be a game changer. And I would be honored to have you be a part of the experience.
In less than a month, I will be boarding a plane bound for Bangladesh where I will have the privilege and honor of working with fair-trade paper artisans on developing new marbling techniques. But this won't be your typical marbling class. And the participants won't be your typical students. This adventure will be all about increasing women's self-determination in a country that makes it difficult, at best, to do so and helping them create more opportunities to provide for their families and villages. In other words, helping women help themselves.
Let me start at the beginning.
A few months ago, my friend Annika Buxman of De Milo Design, approached me with an idea. Her line of eco-friendly and fair-trade papers called Sustain & Heal comes from a co-op in Bangladesh which provides employment for women in rural areas who otherwise would have no other source of income. The artisans make handmade papers from locally grown jute fiber. Then they add elegant designs to the paper by marbling on them.
Annika has been working with the co-op for seven years and would like to see them expand their line of paper offerings. However, the artisans are limited by their current marbling capabilities ~ but not limited by their eagerness to learn new techniques! So she asked me if I would be interested in going to Bangladesh to help them develop new marbling skills.
Would I? Of course!
We will be gathering together women from several rural communities for a three-day workshop. Our goal is to build upon their existing talents while exposing them to new tools, materials, and techniques that they can then build upon. This will give them the ability and confidence to extend their range of papers ~ and then take their new skills with them back home to their villages and share what they learned with even more artisans ~ thereby creating ripples of more opportunity.
De Milo Design will be investing in this training by funding 25% of costs and we hope you will help us raise the rest of the funds needed. Your contribution will help change the lives of these women by making a business opportunity a reality. While their individual stories reflect hardship and tragedy, they've come together in these workshops and have created a sustainable, empowered community able to provide for their families.
To learn more about this incredible opportunity and see a short video about the group of amazing women artisans, visit our fundraising page. (And check out the many beautiful thank-you gifts we're offering to show our appreciation for your support!)