“Strengthen him [the poor person] so that he does not fall [as distinct from the one who has already become poor] and become dependent on others” (Leviticus 25:35)
Muzikraft Bangladesh began as a boon for NGOs and FTOs with whom it was known to in Dhaka in 2016. Shortly after the attack at Holey Artisan, several NGOs approached Muzikraft’s Owner and Director seeking a new benefactor. Their previous benefactors were among the victims at Holey Artisan. While being just a donor is a noble thing, she felt it was more important to provide a sustainable way to support these organizations. Thus, Muzikraft Bangladesh began organizing flea market style fairs.
Our fairs are mainly held at the American Club, though we have tried other venues. Some days we get a great turnout of attendees and other days we don’t. It hurts everyone when that happens. As we hear the participants grumble, wondering whether marketing was done or why there aren’t attendees we question ourselves what we could do differently to make it better. Really there are no answers because we do it the same every time.
It is important to note that since Holey Artisan, security at the American Club has increased tremendously. That includes how we can market events. The options include:
- Flyers at the American Club and other Expat Clubs with a relationship with the American Club.
- Email Marketing
- Provide a soft copy of the flyer to the US Embassy for its newsletter.
- Flyers at the American school and a couple of others as well.
- Reaching out to personal contacts at the Embassy to spread the word.
This is it essentially and if any of these don’t work the result is even more appalling. What is worse is that everyone notices that despite the inclusion of both Bangladeshi Americans who live in Bangladesh in addition to the expats who are members it is primarily the American expats who contribute as attendees to these events.
Honestly, it saddens us to see the lack of interest from Bangladeshis. They show more interest in imported goods from India and Pakistan than the beautiful saris, kanthas, jewellery and others made by the hands of their aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters. They attend the glorious fashion show “Khadi Festival”, but don’t buy the beautiful cotton saris made by women from their own native villages. What a sad statement!
Each garment represents the economy of a village, truly it’s that simple. Many village women have struggled to support their families, some were widows or had been abandoned by their husbands left to support a child. Most of them are uneducated and for the most part, illiterate. Fortunately for them, some NGOs came forward and taught them a trade, gave them employment which in time helped them support not only their families but their entire community.
A wise saying that has many roots says,
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” While many organizations are doing there part, circumstances have diminished in Dhaka due to security concerns by many. Muzikraft seeks to give opportunities to local entrepreneurs, NGOs, and FTOs to sell their products proudly to many visitors.
Muzikraft is proud to be a support to these organizations but sometimes needs your help. If you are a business owner of a restaurant who would like to donate the use of your establishment, contact us. If you’d like to know when we have an event contact us, we’ll add you to our email list.