An exhibition, Uraan Chapter 12, displaying exquisite handicrafts by Pakistani female artisans was recently concluded at the Emporium Mall in the city of Lahore. The three-day event from February 10-12, 2023 showcases designs by artisans supported by Kaarvan Crafts Foundation to generate sustainable incomes.
The exhibition featured goods made by women trained as a part of the Driving Women’s Economic Empowerment (DWEE) programme, an initiative of the British Asian Trust and the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The artisans were trained and supported by Kaarvan Crafts Foundation as part of the DWEE programme, which is working with 1,650 marginalised women and supporting them to be more economically independent and resilient against multidimensional poverty.
The programme operates in rural areas of four districts (Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, and DG Khan) of Pakistan and supports women with increased knowledge, skill enhancement, product development, digital literacy, access to resources and market linkages to participate in sustainable livelihoods.
With more than 45 women entrepreneurs showcasing their craft diversity, culture and sharing their stories with attendees, the event received immense appreciation.
Kamyla Marvi, Pakistan Director of the British Asian Trust said: “Women can make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home. The DWEE programme helps support women to secure decent jobs and accumulate assets so they can be more independent. Together with Kaarvan Crafts Foundation and the FCDO, we are changing lives, one woman and one community at a time – this exhibition was a great example of that.”
FCDO’s Clara Strandhoj, Head of Lahore Office commented: “It was a privilege to see the beautiful craftsmanship of these women entrepreneurs. Ensuring women are financially empowered is vital to a prosperous and thriving Pakistan. The UK is proud to support this important work – and I am personally pleased to be able to purchase some of the stunning pieces showcased at this exhibition.”
Speaking at the event, Danish Khan, CEO of Kaarvan Crafts Foundation said: “It is humbling to see the journey of these rural entrepreneurs. At the DWEE Inspiring Handmade Craft Exhibition these women truly transformed into industrial makers cultivating market linkages and establishing themselves as role models for many other women and girls in their community.”
About the British Asian Trust
The British Asian Trust wants to see a South Asia that is prospering and fair for all. Our work supports large-scale, sustainable solutions that enable poor and marginalised people to achieve their full potential. Since we started in 2007, we have had a positive impact on the lives of almost 6.6 million people in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. By enabling our supporters to turn their values into action, we transform lives. Together we support a South Asia that is better for all.
About UK Aid Match
UK Aid Match brings charities, the British public and the UK government together to collectively change the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. It is designed to provide opportunities for the UK public to engage with international development issues and to allow the British public to have a say in how UK aid is spent, whilst boosting the impact of the very best civil society projects to reach the poorest people in developing countries.
The British Asian Trust was selected to be part of the UK Aid Match project run by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office with donations made to the “If I Can, She Can” Appeal doubled by the UK government, to support people in the poorest parts of South Asia to rebuild their lives.
Match funding from the UK government will be used to fund their innovative Women’s Economic Empowerment programme in Pakistan, which will equip women with the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to find a job or start their own business in a post-COVID world.
About Kaarvan Crafts Foundation
Kaarvan Crafts Foundation provides life skills to Pakistani Rural Women in order to build their confidence to participate in local decision-making and carve connections with relevant urban markets. With integrated holistic developmental approach that caters to both human dignity and individual integrity, Kaarvan brings women at the heart of development with an aim to implement SDG 5 & 8 on ground level. Till date Kaarvan has mobilized, trained and empowered more than 29,000 women in over 1,000 of villages in 26 districts across Pakistan.