15th December 2014
New centres in Cox’s Bazar
As more and more of you want to buy Pebble toys and we continue to expand sales, so we are able to continually set up and open more training centres in areas of extreme deprivation in Bangladesh. We’ve joined forces with Winrock International, under the CREL project (Climate Resistant Environment and Livelihoods project) funded by USAID, to open three new centres in Cox’s Bazar and these were inaugurated by Darrell Deppert on 15th December 2014.
Image: Darrell Deppert talking to the new trainees at a Pebble centre opening event in Cox’s Bazar
Pebble will be training 300 additional women in these centres under this project. The places were chosen specifically because in those areas the people currently depend largely on the forest life and by creating employment in these areas for the women making Pebble toys, so the women will depend less on the forest and the forest will be preserved.
Image: women eagerly awaiting to start to learn how to knit and crochet so that they can make Pebble toys
The Forest Department of Bangladesh is also helping to facilitate this programme and has provided invaluable support in giving information about the most vulnerable areas in this location. The locations of the first three centres in this area are Himchori, Medhakossopia and Fasiakhali.
Image: inauguration of the new training centres.
It was really great to have so many of our partners present for the inauguration of these centres. Darrell Deppert, head of the CREL project, Gregory Booth from USAID, Munir Helal and Absar Habib from CODEC, as well as the chief guest, Shah E Alam, the Divisional Forest Officer from the Bangladesh Forest Department, Cox’s Bazar Division, along with Rayhan Kabir, the Executive Director of Hathay Bunano.
Image: women waiting to start training at the new centres in Cox’s Bazar
The training will take place in groups of 25 until 100 women have been trained in each centre. It takes 3-4 weeks for a woman to learn to make Pebble toys and so very soon the first group of trainees will start production work and will be earning money to support their families. The inauguration of new centres is always very exciting for us; it is a time of so much hope from the women for a dignified way to change their lives for the better. At Pebble we are very aware of the responsibility that comes with our work; that the work we provide must not only be dignified, flexible and local but must also be sustainable and continuous. It is our responsibility to continue to develop new products and move the brand forward so that it remains relevant and appealing to all our customers.
We are delighted to open these new centres in Cox’s Bazar and we are delighted to continue to supply Pebble toys around the world to support ongoing employment in these rural villages. Thank you to all of you who buy our toys and make all this possible.