In the Beginning
The 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 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 mainstream, got the chance to promote their products.
The 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.
After Fr. John sudden demise Mr. Shourove Ansari took the initiative to carry on the activities with the cooperation of Artisans, Sondrio Friends, Xaverian Society Bangladesh.
BaSE in Brief.
The BaSE is a non-profit Guaranteed Fair Trade organization of Bangladesh set up to co-ordinate and promote the handicraft products of various female manufacturing groups out of the mainstream, 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 Date Palmleaf Basketry, Jute Macramé, Nakshi Embroidery, Women’s Clothing, and Accessories.
BaSE owned by women producer groups and a total of over 10,000 producers (99% are women) organized in 17 producer groups and having over 3,000 products.
The producers are from marginalized communities.
Our producer is very skilled and able to show you the large numbers of its own design items and able to do customizable designs.
BaSE uses local natural raw materials and products are 100% Natural, Biodegradable, Recyclable. We purchase all the raw materials from the direct farmers or producers and avoid medium/brokers.
We envision economically self-sufficient, socially recognized, 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, color, caste, and creed, the organization is completely charitable, beneficial, educational, non-political, non-communal, and non-profitable. It intends to be a non-discriminating organization with no regard to nation, color, 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.
The 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 the abolition of child labor. The associate’s 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 organizations. 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:
Number of producers
Bhoberpara Mohila Hosto Shilpo (BH)
Banchte Shekha Handicrafts (BSH)
extile, Accessories, Home Decor
Ekota Mohila Shomity (EMS)
Garments, Home Decor, Wedding & Greetings
Bonochaya Mohila Shomity (BC)
Muzgunni Group (MUZ)
Baniarchor Group (BA)
Khalishpur Group (KHC)
Accessories, Wedding & Greetings
Paper, Cotton, Fabric
Textile, Home Decor
Valerian Handicrafts (SH)
Rishilpi Handicrafts (SAT)
Blue Sisters Group (BLU)
Charka Handicrafts (CH)
Textile, Accessories, Home Decor
Dhaka Producers Direct Export (DPDE)
Textile, Home Decor
Jagoroni Handicrafts (JAG)
Women Training Centre (CHA)
Textile, Home Decor
Toys & Kids
Jute - Fabric
BaSE Leadership Organogram.
Chairperson: Mr. Ashok Sarkar, Social Worker
Vice-chairperson: Mr. Munshi Khairul Islam, Representative SAT 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)
Finance and Logistic Coordinator: Mr. Theophil Sardar
Production and Quality Control Supervisor: Ms. Hira Gosh