A documentary film about Fr. John and his works…Thanks to Sondrio’s friends for the great work…
The BaSE was founded by an Italian Xaverian missionary, Fr. Giovanni Abbiati, known as Fr. John. He observed the poverty and life of the poor villagers, especially underprivileged women. He wanted to change the situation but without providing direct financial support so as 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. For 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.
The BaSE is currently working with 16 groups of producer organizations with an estimated number of about 10,000 individual producers, indirectly over 50,000 people mostly women benefited from the program.
On 5 October 2009 a tragic road accident in Savar, Dhaka Fr. John died.
Fr. Abbiati was a jewel among us, always giving us a shining example of kindness, caring, and loving. Fr. Abbiati will remains with us through the rest of our lives, so close in our hearts. Always in our mind; forever in our hearts…..