1. Sorting keyrings at Calcutta Rescue 2. Taking orders at Jeevika 3. Recycled Saris cover sewing machines, Jeevika 4. Monster Keyrings 5. Drying candles at Silence 6. Posing at Jeevika 7. Tea lights at Silence 8. Teeny love heart candles - small enough to fit two in a matchbox 9. Home decor - love the cushion 10. A night under a thatched roof in Santiniketan 11. Likkle animal candles at Silence - mucho obsessed 12. Showing off the fruits of his labour at Silence 13. & 14. Screen printing at Silence 15. Bead work, Silence 16. Intense orange lighting on the night I left.
Imagine my surprise when an unassuming birthday card from my boss last December turned out to be an invitation to visit our Fair Trade partners out in Kolkata, India in the new year. I was uber touched and shed a happy tear or two.
Come April and I have just returned from what promises to be the first of many trips to India.
I was so busy I hardly had time to stop for photo taking and am bummed that I don't have more. Most of these are of two of the groups that we work with the most - Jeevika & Silence.
The girls at Jeevika are skilled seamstresses and embroiderers. They were so lovely and welcoming and we had loads of fun posing for pictures together.
The artisans at Silence all have some sort of disability, most of the people who work there are deaf and mute. However they come together everyday to prove their ability to create beautiful products from candles & woodwork to screen printed, hand painted cards & jewellery. The artisans there clearly loved their job and were so proud of their work. Silence really stood out to me as an example of people really doing it for themselves.