Thank you everyone for your lovely and wonderful comments on my last post! Javita and I are very excited about the Weaving Destination social enterprise. Today, I hope you will join me in welcoming a very special guest post from Javita!
Thanks Debi for such a wonderful and apt introduction of our association, social enterprise and me. You are certainly a superwoman. My heartfelt thanks to all the readers for their wonderful thoughts, wishes and suggestions. Very encouraging and helpful indeed!
When Debi asked me to introduce myself on her blog, I was excited to tell about myself and meet the wonderful community associated with her through her blog. But, my first thought was what should I write about myself?..where should I begin from?..and what is really my inspiration? I guess two words describe me and my inspiration to do this work - ‘Creating Opportunities!’
Women who work in the sewing unit at Weaving Destination
A glimpse inside the Weaving Destination centre Anthaigwlao Village, BTC, Assam
Sorry for the blurry picture...this is me (Javita) with two of the women weavers
In 2004, my husband and I decided to set up NEDAN Foundation - a charity organization (commonly known as non-government organization/ NGO in India) in Kokrajhar, Assam, North East India - an area marked by poverty, ongoing conflict and naturally calamities. Being the birth place of my husband Digambar Narzary, we recognized the vulnerability of the indigenous women, youth and children to human trafficking, exploitation and primarily lack of opportunities and possibilities for a viable livelihood and employment. This kept them entrenched in the cycle of poverty and exploitation. Further the environmental and geographic conditions of North East India bordering Bhutan, Myanmar, Tibet, Bangladesh and Nepal created conditions of human trafficking with open, porous borders and lack of sufficient vigilance. This is how the roots of the Social Enterprise began - to create income generation and livelihood opportunities for indigenous women from the area including survivors of human trafficking and returnee migrants - for their economic and social empowerment. From a small income generation project through involving home-based skilled women weavers from the Bodo community of Kokrajhar District in Assam at the inception of NEDAN Foundation in 2004, a Social Enterprise called Weaving Destination took shape.
Women weavers with their children - Celebration at the Weaving Destination Centre
Extracting the yarn prior to weaving
Together with Debi, I envision a world full of opportunities and possibilities for the women sitting and weaving in small, remote villages of the BTC and many other women like them who would not be able to fulfill their dreams and achieve their goals of self sufficiency and a contented life for themselves and their families without support from other women (and men) who have ‘made it‘ for themselves. In doing so, we also hope to create opportunities for all of us here connected to each other globally, to feel the hopes, aspirations and joys of women weavers through their beautiful organic, handwoven (more on this in subsequent posts) colourful fabrics and be blessed in the process!!
Yarn being laid out for weaving
Meeting Debi and David in Edinburgh has been one of the most beautiful experiences of being in here over past one year. Thanks for their beautiful friendship and such a meaningful partnership.