In 2011, our family of six visited extended family in Bangladesh for Christmas. What an amazing two weeks! New sights and sounds arrested us from the moment we got off our plane in Dhaka, a city the size of Orlando, Florida, but with sixty times the number of people. We have unforgettable memories of that Christmas--rickshaw rides through overcrowded streets, haircuts with Bangladeshi head massages, wide smiles with teeth stained red from betel nuts, cinnamon rolls and coffee latte art at a local café, and the sound of car horns and bike bells ringing day and night!
We visited Basha, a business that employs women rescued from trafficking and abuse, by providing dignified work through creations made with recycled sari cloth and base metals. At the time, fourteen women busily sewed blankets while their children were cared for in the next room. Basha truly is a haven for their employees!
We started Open River Imports in 2017 to support these women. Basha is now eleven years old and employs over 200 women in five locations. Open River Imports is privileged to partner with this amazing business in the heart of Dhaka!
If you're reading this, then you probably want to give hope to Basha too. Thanks for joining us! We love having friends along for the journey!
When Basha started in 2011, it employed 14 women. By January 2017, when we started Open River Imports, 88 women worked there. Now, Basha has over 160 women working in five different locations! We want to provide enough trade for Basha to continue hiring women at risk for as long as they seek dignified work.
Open River Imports envisions health, safety, and education for each artisan and her family, something Basha already provides. But as the number of artisans increases, so do the health, safety, and educational needs of their families.
We want each Basha artisan to feel valued. We believe that by opening a river of fair trade, the Basha artisans earn not only sustainable wages, but also dignity and respect, making a greater impact than charity on their lives and their futures.