Concern America’s first project was in the country of Bangladesh. In fact, we first incorporated as Concern for Bangladesh, which then became Concern America: the “America” in our name was actually chosen to differentiate us from two other Concern organizations.
Our first project was gathering and sending large kitchen equipment for a cooking school and kitchen for a public hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As with all Concern America projects, we operate based on the needs of the local community. Other projects emerged in Bangladesh, such as supporting women to produce and sell their traditional crafts with trainings in additional skills, all to support their families.
All these years later, we continue to engage with Corr-The Jute Works, the artisan cooperative that grew out of these efforts. We invite you to take a moment to view some of their beautiful work, ranging from weaving baskets out of jute, a locally available material, and beautiful ceramic pieces.
As Concern America began working in other countries, there was a prevalent need for sustainable income generation. This was especially true with the displaced and refugee communities in and from Guatemala with whom we worked with throughout the 80s and continuing to date. We began supporting their weaving and embroidery cooperatives, some of which are profiled below as we still work together decades later.
We are excited this month, as part of our 50th-anniversary celebrations, to acknowledge the incredible work of so many artisans, who, through their artistry, are able support their families and their communities. Please take a moment to read below about all of these artisan groups with whom we currently work, and click here to look at and buy any of their beautiful items, all purchased directly from the artisans themselves at prices they set.