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Job opportunities in rural Bangladesh

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Bangladesh is one of the most densely-populated countries in the world. With its nearly 164 million inhabitants it is the 8th largest country. Bangladesh is not only overpopulated but it is also a developing country suffering from natural disasters like floods and tropical cyclones. 43% of the country still lives below the international poverty line on less than $ 1.25 per day. With agriculture as the largest sector of the economy, employing about 45% of the workforce, the fast majority is depending on this sector for their income.

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In rural area’s the poverty level is one of the highest, especially in the north. People depend for their income on their crops. When it fails people have no money for food or other basics and there is no governmental social system to back them up. But even when it succeeds they don’t earn enough money to provide for the basic needs for their families. Unfortunately job opportunities for additional income in these rural areas are limited forcing many people to migrate to the larger cities like the capital Dhaka, abandoning their families for underpaid jobs. Many of them have to live on the streets because they cannot afford a roof over their head and end up in a vicious circle.

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It is very important to create job opportunities in these rural areas, especially labour intensive jobs. The literacy rate in these areas is low and work has to fit into the lifestyle and nature of local people in rural villages. Producing handmade items or handicraft is one of the area’s that allows people to earn a regular and/or additional income between seeding and harvesting time and has a low barrier of entry. Production area’s are home based or small workshops are located close to or in the rural villages. At the same time it supports the empowerment of women. Woman artisans can often work at home on their own time schedule in order to balance work and childcare.

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Originalhome collaborates with local entrepreneurs who work in a sustainable manner with rural communities in Bangladesh. For example, our handwoven and recycled cotton cloths and table runners are sourced from a small and simple handloom factory in the north of Bangladesh. In September 2018 we will also add jute items to our collection that are sourced from special women’s entrepreneurship development programs. The first step in poverty elevation is bringing work to people that need it the most and we have made it our main focus.

 

Bangladesh may not sound like a very happy country or a good place to visit. However, if you have the change to visit Bangladesh you should definitely do so. We think the Bangladeshi are the most friendliest, open, inquisitive and hospitable people we have ever met. It is such an honour to work with them.

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