During the Project Preparation Mandate phase, on 28 May 2013, Katalyst signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Aarong, Bangladesh’s largest handicraft retailer.
The MoU is intended to increase the capacity of Aarong’s training unit and to design a sustainable training mechanism to increase the skills, efficiency and management capacity of Aarong’s independent producers, the artisans who supply Aarong with handicrafts.
Rajesh Khajuria (General Manager, Design and Product Development, Aarong) and Goetz Ebbecke (General Manager, Project Preparation Mandate, Swisscontact) signed the agreement on behalf of Aarong and Katalyst respectively.
The MoU focuses on four product categories of Aarong: household goods and value addition, weaving and jamdani (Bangladesh’s traditional handloom sari), jute products, and handmade toys and gifts. Aarong is a fair trade organisation dedicated to bringing about positive change in the lives of disadvantaged artisans and underprivileged rural women by reviving and promoting their skills in craft production. The MoU is expected to increase the income of Aarong’s 65,000 poor artisans, 43 percent of whom are women.