Meet the Artisans of Noahs Ark Handicrafts

  • Noahs Ark Handicrafts

    An NGO, Noah’s Ark Handicrafts & Artisan Welfare Society, was created in 2000 to advance the charitable activities of the organization, which now include clean water, education, health and capacity building initiatives. Through our work, we give an identity to the artisan’s craft and help them to appreciate the value of their products while ensuring they have the skills and resources to succeed in a changing market. Like the biblical story of Noah’s Ark that symbolizes the concept of saving mankind, we strive to save the art of making handicrafts.

     


  • The Noahs Ark Handicrafts Story

    Moradabad is a city with a population of 700,000 in which more than half are involved in the metal handicrafts trade, but the industry has long been plagued with injustice: artisans are paid low wages, forced to pay commissions to exporters, and must self-finance raw materials needed to complete orders. As the cost of metal has become prohibitively high and the international market has evolved, artisans must invest in diversifying beyond Moradabad’s signature brass crafts, though many fall victim to bad debt or shop closure. Trades passed down from one generation to another form an important part of India’s culture. Yet the heritage and tradition of handicrafts is increasingly threatened as insufficient profits force marginalized artisans to seek other professions.

    After six years of witnessing the struggles of artisans first hand, Samuel Masih established Noah’s Ark International Exports in 1986 to change the foundation of the exporter-artisan relationship from fear to trust in an effort to raise the artisans out of poverty and preserve their livelihood. Noah’s Ark is the first and only Fair Trade certified exporter (member of WFTO and FTF India) in Moradabad. The company has supported artisans and their families with fair wages 10-15% higher than local wages, long-term business investment and collaboration, and health and education initiatives for over 25 years. An NGO, Noah’s Ark Handicrafts & Artisan Welfare Society, was created in 2000 to advance the charitable activities of the organization, which now include clean water, education, health and capacity building initiatives. Through our work, we give an identity to the artisan’s craft and help them to appreciate the value of their products while ensuring they have the skills and resources to succeed in a changing market. Like the biblical story of Noah’s Ark that symbolizes the concept of saving mankind, we strive to save the art of making handicrafts.

    Mission

    To empower low income artisans to break the cycle of poverty and to preserve the cultural traditions of their crafts through our commitment to Fair Trade.

     


     

  • Fair Trade Matters!

     

    Fair Trade Organizations
    At Yoga Geek we feel that the principles of Fair Trade mirror the finest principles of the various Yoga and Meditation traditions and practices that we respect. Fair Trade is a global movement that began in the 40’s and exists now as various parallel initiatives throughout the world. Driven by the efforts of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and socially motivated individuals, Fair Trade began by providing advice, assistance and support to disadvantaged producers. Fair Trade has come to be a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers.

    In keeping with the spirit of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, here are eight reasons we feel so strongly about, and are happy to be offering, Fair Trade products to our Yoga and Meditation communities:

    1. Fair Trade products are made in safe and healthy working conditions, where artisans receive a fair price and have a voice in how their workplace is run.
    2. Fair Trade embraces practices that minimize our environmental footprint.
    3. Artisans take pride in their work. Crafts are handmade, which translates into closer attention to detail and in the end higher-quality products
    4. By working through cooperative structures, Fair Trade artisans are able to invest Fair Trade earnings in their communities, improving housing, healthcare, and schools.
    5. Fair Trade products are unique to the places they come from and the people who make them. Farmers and artisans are involved in the entire process, and Fair Trade products reflect the people and cultures they come from.
    6. Fair Trade gives farmers and artisans control of their own future. They can build their own businesses, rather than working for a middleman, and the profits stay in their communities and go back into their businesses.
    7. By choosing Fair Trade products, you are not only accessing high quality products, you are making a difference in the lives of the people who grow the food you eat and/or the goods you use.
    8. Fair Trade prohibits child labor, ensures health and safety measures are established in order to avoid work-related injuries and follows International Labor Conventions (ILO). Workers are guaranteed access to healthcare and community development premiums can be used to provide greater access to /quality of healthcare and education.

     


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