Ummaima Jahan Dawood, Director of Fiber Resource Center (FRC) Bangladesh
Ummaima brings a long personal interest in the field. From an early age, Ummaima was introduced to the world of textiles and fabric, developing a keen eye and interest.
Having professionally trained in Human Resource Management and part of Chartered Accountancy from London, Ummaima joined the family business DJ Agro Ltd., as a part-time assistant to the accountant while pursuing her undergraduate degree. Prior to that she worked with Australian educational institutions as a counsellor for educational and career placements. Upon completion of her degree, she initially started working as a HR and Accounts Executive in the family business.
She is committed to the socio-economic and environmental development of the industry and the weavers, artisans and workers that support it. Ummaima is keen to making a lasting contribution to the development of the handmade textile sector in Bangladesh.
Shah Abdus Salam, Founder and Executive Director Development Wheel (DEW)
Salam brings in-depth experience in the socio-economic development field having worked for various national and international organizations over the last 25 years. This includes organizations such as: BRAC; CARE-Bangladesh; Terre Das Hommes France; the ILO and; UNDP. Having started out working at the grassroots level, Salam brings expertise in planning, implementation, monitoring & evaluation as well as a breadth of managerial experience in a variety of development projects. In addition to this, Mr. Salam has published several articles on the subjects of: livelihoods; sub sector analysis of handicraft sector in Bangladesh; business development; market chain analysis; impact assessment andfair trade. Salam is also an active member of numerous national and international networks such as: the World Fair trade organization-WFTO; WFTO Asia (Ex-Board Secretary and Director); UN NGLS; Ecota Fair trade Forum Bangladesh(Ex-Board Chair person and present Board members); CIVICUS; AWED; ICSFD; Solidarity Economy Forum; Dhaka
University alumni association; We Can Campaign (National Steering Committee Member); Market Development Forum-MDF;Coalition for the Urban Poor-CUP (Board Member); CANSA-Climate Action Network Asia and; Home Net South Asia.
In 1996, Salam founded a national nonprofit – Development Wheel (DEW). DEW’s principal aim is to work for marginalized and hardcore poor communities and especially producers in our country in achieving DEW’s core vision “to have a society where all people enjoy equal rights and equitable access to employment and adequate resources necessary for livelihood and live in dignity.” DEW is actively involved in creating sustainable employment and income generation opportunities for the disadvantaged artisan groups in rural and urban areas through promoting their arts and crafts in the Fair Trade markets. This program assists poor women in using their traditional craftsmanship to develop demand driven handicrafts and provides them with the market linkage support to ensure fair return of their products.
Hema Helal, Founder and President the Sneha Foundation
A life coach in profession trained by Dr. Martha Beck & Brooke Castillo – two of the world-renowned life coaches of our time; Hema left Toronto and returned to Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2011 to pursue Sneha’s work. One of the 4 projects under the Sneha umbrella, Hems & Hues is a social enterprise that works with the Rana Plaza disaster survivors. The survivor women learn new skills such as Quilting / Kantha making, Embroidery, Natural Dyeing and combine these to make beautiful kanthas and home decor pieces. Hema lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh with her husband, two daughters and a fur baby.
Nawshin Khair, Creative Director Aranya
Nawshin Khair is a charismatic creative designer and a social entrepreneur , cultural connector ,an activist and mother of three.
Nawshin is the creative director for a local fairtrade brand Aranya, which focuses on revival and conservation of natural dye, local handloom and handicrafts of Bangladesh. Nawshin recently launched a social business Bengal Craft for the handicraft sector.
Nawshin is the country coordinator and member of the global advisory board for Fashion Revolution and founder of the initiative Trace My Fashion. She is one of the trustees for Bengal Foundation . Recently Nawshin has been invited to join the core organizing team of TEDxDhaka.