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When she was only 11, Heena's father passed away, leaving her mother, Heena, and her 3 younger siblings to support themselves. Heena left school and learned to embroider from her mother. They got sporadic work from local contractors - but sometimes they got paid and sometimes they didn't. A neighbor let them know about a new self-help group in their area, started with support from Tara Projects, a member of the World Fair Trade Organization. 


Nestled within New Delhi, Punam sits among friendly faces and colorful saris, smiling and proud of her contribution. Two years ago, Punam learned to bead from a family artisan cooperative in her neighborhood, and since then they have helped her family earn enough to survive. Punam’s family could not afford the dowry for her marriage - her mother is sick and her father cannot work regularly due to a chronic illness. Since working, she was able to pay her dowry as well as her mother’s medical treatments. Working in the cooperative means she is able to provide for herself as well as her family while remaining in a safe, caring environment.


Although Prema was widowed while pregnant, she was determined to 
support herself and daughter without becoming a burden on her aging parents. Her uncle introduced her to Teddy Experts, a fair trade organization in southern India that employs over 300 low-income artisans.  


Shaista was born into an orthodox Muslim family in Old Delhi, India.
As a woman, it was difficult to find work in her conservative community without discrimination. With the help of two of her siblings, she started a self-help group and began working on handicrafts for Tara Projects.


Rami's parents didn't have enough money to pay for her studies, so she needed to start work shortly after elementary school. Their village, Celuk, in Bali, Indonesia is known for its silversmith artisans, but Rami wasn't finding steady work outside of low-paying factories. The long hours and poor wages made it difficult to help support her husband's meager income and raise their three children.

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