We enjoyed a great time in Pakistan. Everywhere we went we met friendly, helpful and incredibly hospitable people. It seemed like everyone wanted to shake our hands and give us a hug. On Sunday afternoon, while touring the old Lahore Fort, a number of people wanted their pictures taken with us. Contrary to what we hear and read in the media about Pakistan, it’s a great place to travel – safe, friendly, hospitable and very scenic.
The new rug shipment just arrived and we are amazed. Bunyaad rug artisans in Pakistan keep surprising us over and over again.
You would think that we’d know what to expect when we open the bales. Craftsmanship and quality of wool and colors are always high. Yet this newest shipment shows again the incredible artistry of the rug artisans we work with.
Arshad, usually called by her nickname Bebe, and her family live in the village of Darianwala located approximately six miles from the Indian border in Northeast Pakistan.
Arshad and her husband Mustaq have been working for Bunyaad for the past five years (since 2009). Prior to joining Bunyaad the family had been drifting from place to place in hopes of finding work that would support the entire family. As a woman working outside the home would not have been acceptable for Arshad and so the challenge of providing for the entire family rested on Mustaq’s shoulders.
How does a family in rural Pakistan make ends meet when jobs are scarce and mostly seasonal?
World Fair Trade Day (WFTD) recognizes and celebrates the impact of fair trade relationships around the world. The first World Fair Trade Day was established by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) and celebrated on the second Saturday in May, 2002. Since then fair traders all over the world, including Fair Trade Federation (FTF) members, have celebrated WFTD on the second Saturday in May each year. This year, WFTD is on Saturday, May 9.
Bunyaad is a recognized leader in fairly traded handmade rugs from Pakistan and we’ve been practicing fair trade since the 1960’s when Chaman Masih began working with just a few rug making families. Fair trade was not even part of the language back then. As time went along, Bunyaad joined forces with Ten Thousand Villages and the business of fairly traded rugs grew substantially. Just this year, Bunyaad became a member of the Fair Trade Federation and officially joined the North American and worldwide family of fair trade.
So, why should we care about World Fair Trade Day? I think there are four main reasons: