Friends of Basha
Basha Enterprises was founded in 2011 by Robin Seyfert to provide employment for women at risk and survivors of trafficking. Basha has grown from 13 women in one small Dhaka flat to more than 100 full-time production workers in five Production centres throughout Bangladesh.
Women are eager to leave behind the trauma of their past and build better future for themselves and their children. Every woman we encounter who is trapped in a life she is deeply ashamed of spurs us to create more jobs, open in new communities, forge new partnerships, and develop new training programs. At the same time, we constantly uncover new levels of need. Trauma takes it's toll and many layers of services are needed.
Friends of Basha exists to respond to the unique needs of these communities in Bangladesh to prevent combat trafficking and exploitation.
Our current work includes:
- An outreach programme to understand the needs of women in prostitution in Tangail, a renowned brothel town
- A training programme for women who need support and preparation to enter the mainstream workforce
- A home for girls who were previously fending for themselves
- Nutritious snacks twice a day in Basha's daycare centres located at four of Basha's five Production Centres.
- Daily tutoring and school support for all children of Basha employees (91 children)
- Counselling, mentoring and psychiatric care as needed
I fell in love with the beauty and hospitality of Bangladesh when I first moved here in 2006. When I discovered how many women in Bangladesh were forced into prostitution and wanted an alternative, I knew I wouldn't be leaving anytime soon. Starting and running Basha, a social enterprise, was completely unexpected and has been the biggest challenge, terror and joy of my life. I jump out of bed every morning with a big smile on my face because I know I'll have another opportunity to see women transform their lives through dignified work. I am fueled by coffee, prayer, and the immense need I see around me in Bangladesh. I'm on a mission to end the exploitation of women and children in Bangladesh and to ensure that anyone who needs a fresh start has that opportunity.