Bunyaad (formerly JAKCISS Oriental
Rugs), centered in Lahore, Pakistan, provides employment for artisans
in more than 100 villages throughout Pakistan.
The name meaning
"foundation" in Urdu, Bunyaad works to create strong foundations in the
villages of Pakistan by paying a fair wage to its artisans. Artisans
who receive a fair and living wage for their work are able to build
better homes and living conditions, create educational opportunities
for their children, foster better understandings among different
religious communities and spread peace through fair wages and equal
opportunities for men and women in the villages of Pakistan. These are
the foundations created by fair trade.
These artisans create onyx
sculpture and tabletop items, hand-knotted Oriental rugs and
semiprecious stone jewelry. The artisans generally range in age from 20
to 50, and 60 percent are women. Since its beginning, Bunyaad has
focused on artisans in remote villages, as these are areas with
significant lack of opportunity for artisans. In addition to their
marketing of artisans' products, Bunyaad has supported education, adult
literacy, housing and refugee programs, as well as a variety of other
social services in Pakistani villages. Bunyaad actively pursues
opportunities to bring higher education to villages-a girls' college in
Darianwala village in northeast Pakistan, for example. In 2008, Bunyaad
completed a housing project for earthquake-affected families, in
cooperation with Mennonite Central Committee.
Bunyaad began more
than 30 years ago with an effort to create jobs for artisans in
Darianwala village in northeast Pakistan. With its growth, the
organization has been able to benefit many more artisans and their
families. It works with rug-knotting artisans in villages throughout
Punjab and the North West Frontier Province and onyx artisans in Sind.
Although many artisans over the age of 35 who work with Bunyaad have
limited education, younger artisans have been able to complete their
education. As Bunyaad has been paying fair wages for more than 30
years, families have now been able to send their children to school and
have been able to develop their communities. This has led to healthier
living conditions, and peaceful relations between Muslim and Christian
residents as they are no longer competing for jobs but rather working
together. Communities are also stronger because young people do not
need to leave the village to find work elsewhere. Bunyaad has also
brought more gender equality into the villages, as men and women earn
equal wages, have equal opportunity and enjoy equal participation.
Ten Thousand Villages Villages began purchasing Oriental rugs from Bunyaad in 1982 and onyx items from Bunyaad in 2008.
- Artisan Products