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Women Bring Rainbow Colors to the Assembly
many Bangladeshi women, the production of silk is an
important source of income.
Bangladesh, most people’s livelihoods are linked to the rice
harvest. When the rice is growing, or when families do not have
enough to eat or sell as a result of the frequent floods or droughts
in this land with many rivers, people are in danger of going hungry.
But the silk
worm provides an alternative. Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service (RDRS),
an associate program of the LWF/DWS, is the largest non-governmental
organization in northwestern Bangladesh. It employs a large number
of women in sericulture—silk production—giving them an
opportunity to earn an income to support their families.
begins in villages, where many women work together to cultivate
mulberry trees. Worms are fed the mulberry leaves and raised to a
cocoon stage. In 2001, a total of 15,000 mulberry plants were grown
in homesteads and 40,000 cocoons were produced. Around 300 women
were trained in cocoon rearing, while more continued working in the
silk factories within RDRS working areas.
One of these
women, Fulfuli Rani, works two hours daily in the shade of the
overhang of her house, a carefully crafted building made of mud and
thatch roof. She pulls naturally golden strands of silk thread off
cocoons in a boiling pot of water and winds them onto a reel. Rani
says, "Without the silk worm production, I would have to leave
the village and go somewhere else, maybe the city to earn some money
for my family. Now I do not have to."
life in this challenging part of the world is not as smooth as silk,
her work brings hope to the family. "I want to improve my
family and the lives of my children. I want my children to go to
school and receive a proper education."
RDRS, Bangladeshi women will be bringing a special gift to the
Assembly in Winnipeg. Silk scarves in the seven rainbow colors, and
arrayed with the LWF Tenth Assembly logo, will be offered to
Assembly delegates. The women’s interwoven golden silk strands are
a special gift of the Lutheran communion.
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