In the Beginning.
BaSE was founded by an Italian Xaverian missionary, Fr. Giovanni Abbiati, known as Fr. John.
He observed the poverty and the life of the poor villagers, especially the underprivileged women.
He wanted to change the situation but without providing direct financial support in order to avoid economic dependency.
Knowing that village women use jute to craft their household decorative items, he decided to give them the opportunity to uphold their traditional skills and prepare these products for the market.
With this purpose he started a specific group in Bhoberpara village and began to export these goods, devoting his life to the development of the livelihood of the poor disadvantaged handicraft producers.
BaSE concept was born in 1977 and was officially formed in 1999 to co-ordinate the handicraft activities of various producer groups working in the South-West part of Bangladesh.
United in BaSE, these groups which were out of the main stream, got the chance to promote their products.
BaSE stands for Bangladesh Shilpo Ekota, which means United Artisans of Bangladesh.
In 2009, 5 October in a road accident in Savar, Dhaka Fair Trade hero Fr. John demise. Fr. John was a jewel among us, always giving us a shining example of kindness, caring and loving. Fr. John will remains with us through the rest of our lives, so close in our heart.
BaSE in Brief.
BaSE is a non-profit Guaranteed Fair Trade organisation of Bangladesh set up to co-ordinate and promote the handicraft products of various female manufacturing groups out of the main stream, especially those working in the South-West. Since 1999 BaSE is a member of WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization)
United in BaSE, these groups produce various types of handmade items, such as Palmleaf Basketry, Jute Macramé, Nakshi Embroidery, Women’s Clothing and Accessories. A total of over 10,000 producers (99% are women) organised in 17 producer groups and having over 3,000 products, BaSE producer groups have excellent capacities & skills to prepare custom-made products also according to buyer/partner requirements.
We envision economically self-sufficient, socially recognised, culturally empowered and morally-aware, dignified women in Bangladesh.
BaSE’s mission is to allow women of Bangladesh weaving their dignity, self-consciousness and self-sufficiency with their own hands and through craftsmanship, inspired by their traditions and handicraft legacy.
Value & Ethical Guidelines.
Without discrimination for gender, colour, caste and creed, the organisation is completely charitable, beneficial, educational, non-political, non-communal and non-profitable. It intends to be a non-discriminating organisation with no regard to nation, colour, creed and gender.
Current Social Objectives.
We focus on producer development through work opportunities, education and health support for the families, capacity building of human resources.
BaSE Producer Groups.
BaSE consists of different types of members – Direct Groups, Associates Groups and Occasional.
The specifications are:
- Direct Groups: The groups receive direct support in legal issues; follow the fair-trade principles, production management, packaging and shipments. The direct groups are Bhoberpara Mohila Hosto Shilpo (BH), Banchte Shekha Handicrafts (BSH), Ekota Mohila Shomity (EMS), Bonochaya Mohila Shomity (BC), Muzgunni (MUZ), Khalishpur (KHC), Blue Sisters (BLU), Baniarchor (BA), Baradal (BLH).
- Associate Groups: These groups have their own management structures and reflect in them a commitment to justice, fair employment, public accountability, progressive working practices, equal gender balance and abolition of child labour. The associates groups are Valerian Handicrafts (SH), Rishilpi Handicrafts (SAT), Charka Handicrafts (CH), DPDE, Arshi-Salesian (SS), Jagoroni (JAG), Women Training Center (CHA), YWCA.
- Occasional Groups/Members: This category provides export facilities to mutual organisations. The occasional groups are Bonpara PIME Sisters (BAM); Alex etc.
At present BaSE is working in the following areas:
- Division: BaSE is working in 2 Divisions in Bangladesh, Khulna and Dhaka.
- District: BaSE covers 6 districts – Khulna, Jessore, Meherpur, Satkhira, Faridpur and Dhaka.
- Villages: BaSE producers are located in over one hundred villages in 6 districts of 2 divisions.
- Producers: In total, about 10,007 producers are working under 17 producer groups (Direct and Associates).
BaSE producer groups have over 3,000 own design products and have excellent capacities & skills to prepare custom-made products according to buyer/partners design requirements.
The BaSE Groups (Direct & Associates) information details are as follows:
|Group name||Product category||Production specialisation||Materials||Location||Number of producers|
|Bhoberpara Mohila Hosto Shilpo (BH)||Home Deco||Weaving||Jute Fibre||Meherpur||143|
|Banchte Shekha Handicrafts (BSH)||Textile, Accessories, Home Deco||Nakshi-Embroidery||Cotton-Silk Fabric||Jessore||206|
|Ekota Mohila Shomity (EMS)||Garments, Home Deco, Wedding & Greetings||Tailoring||Cotton-Silk Fabric||Khulna||90|
|Bonochaya Mohila Shomity (BC)||Basketry||Weaving||Palm Leaf||Khulna||350|
|Muzgunni Group (MUZ)||Home Deco||Macramé||Jute Fibre||Khulna||19|
|Baniarchor Group (BA)||Home Deco||Weaving||Jute Fibre||Khulna||18|
|Khalishpur Group (KHC)||Accessories, Wedding & Greetings||Nakshi-Embroidery||Paper, Cotton, Fabric||Khulna||57|
|Baradal (BLH)||Textile, Home Deco||Nakshi-Embroidery||Cotton-Jute Fabric||Satkhira||76|
|Valerian Handicrafts (SH)||Basketry||Weaving||Palm Leaf||Jessore||357|
|Rishilpi Handicrafts (SAT)||Basketry||Weaving||Palm Leaf||Satkhira||916|
|Blue Sisters Group (BLU)||Home Deco||Macramé||Jute Fibre||Khulna||400|
|Charka Handicrafts (CH)||Textile, Accessories, Home Deco||Nakshi-Embroidery, Appliqué||Cotton-Silk Fabric||Jessore||750|
|Dhaka Producers Direct Export (DPDE)||Home Deco||Pottery||Clay||Dhaka||150|
|Arshi-Salesian (SS)||Textile, Home Decor||Nakshi-Embroidery||Cotton-Silk Fabric||Dhaka||300|
|Jagoroni Handicrafts (JAG)||Home Deco||Weaving||Jute- Fibre,Fabric||Dhaka||3500|
|Women Training Centre (CHA)||Textile, Home Deco||Nakshi-Embroidery||Cotton-Fabric||Khulna||175|
|YWCA||Toys & Kids||Tailoring||Jute - Fabric||Dhaka||2500|
BaSE Leadership Organogram.
Chairperson: Mr. Ashok Sarkar, Social Worker
Vice-chairperson: Mr. Andrew Gomes, Representative DPDE Group
Secretary: Ms. Lily Serena Biswas, Representative BSH Group
Office Secretary: Mrs. Dulali Biswas, Representative KHC Group
Treasurer: Ms. Roza Biswas, Representative SH Group
Member: Ms. Rita Boiraghi, Representative BLU Group
Member: Mrs. Anna Gain, Representative MUZ Group
Advisor: Fr. Valoti Lorenzo, Representative Xaverian Missionary
Advisor: Ms. Angela Gomes, Representative National NGO
Advisor: Mr. Benedetto Abbiati, Representative Buyer/Partner/Friends
Design Consultant: Ms. Rossana Vittani
BaSE Management Team:
Coordinating Director: Mr. Shourove Ansari
Group Coordinator: Ms. Asfiya Akther (Eila)
Accountant: Mr. Theophil Sardar