It’s not simply that a new ‘toilet block’ surpasses my wildest hopes, it’s that for the first time I can see the potential that this project has and for the faith that our India partners Sid and Sajjan have put in us at WBC to share our vision.
I don’t need to bang on about how brilliant the buildings are; you can see that for yourself – even in their embryonic not quite finished form, but the passion with which they have been built is really has really been an inspiration. A canteen to feed 200 hard-working mouths; social areas for people to rest in; a garden to provide vegetables and of course a 3,000 Sq. Ft purpose built space that’s dedicated to creating opportunities through training, support and community. Can this really be happening?
Sitting alongside these brand new training facilities is also our main bag manufacturing units where we produce printed ‘bags for life’ for some of the UK’s most prestigious brands. It comprises of some of the most skilled weavers, sewers and artisan producers in the jute and cotton business. And I love that it now sits alongside this new project, fusing together skilled and unskilled, vegetarian and non-vegetarian, religious and non-religious men and women of all casts and backgrounds. From a rural West Bengal village, all are invited to be part of this exciting project – a social business venture, similar in structure to a community interest company (CIC). Producing commercial goods with all the proceeds going back to creating opportunities for the local community.
We have so much more to show you. Hopefully the next time you place your order for printed bags for life as well as certain product lines we hope to introduce in the future, and you’ll be reminded of the talented artisan producers who lovingly made them, as well as the opportunities that your money is creating to help women learn for the first time, how to do the same.