You may be someone I have met, know or who connected via social media. And I found you asked me a question.
So here is my answer.
This page is also for all the trolls, nay-sayers or critics. Who manage to hurl abuse/vitriol/anger/ at me for creating this concept. I thought it best I dedicate this page for you. Rather than painstakingly write the same answer over and over, I will compile my favourite trolling commnets and reply here. So I can get back to spending my time working on #LTTTW. Rather then spend time on you. Answers being posted soon - by me.
Yasmin C. x
Why use the phrase 'Third World' - is it not offensive?
I deliberately use that phrase to reach everyday people from all walks of life in the Western Hemisphere. I aslo made a video where I talk about it here. That means Jim who drives a cab to Dorothy on her sofa watching telly or little Sarah who loves gymnastic. I am not interested in using NGO or UN phrases which are meaningless and often long winded and ridiculous. Don't believe me? Check out the UN organisation tasked for helping the 'Third World' called UNORHLLS (UN Office of the High Representative For The Least Developing Countries And Small Island Developing States).
Also - I find the way charities and international organisations, politicians who continue to contribute to the 'poverty porn' effect - are doing more damage than me calling a group of nations 'Third World' purely to ensure people know who and where and what I am talking about - before I can start asking them to change their experience to that of a positive one.
You are financially exploiting people in deveoping nations, aren't you?
Nope. In fact if anything at all, my own health, finances have been shot to pieces! As a single mother too I have had to run this philanthropic organisation with nobody else as well as do all the chores that a busy mother is required to do. I have spent 2.5 years funding it alone. Often working stints. saving every dime. And in fact all the Bangladeshi people you see in the film willingly stepped forward and were paid to appear. Furthermore it is a sense of pride for them to help me as they know that I am alone and share their same passion to see justice and true images of Bangladesh ne shown.
Why did you set up Amcariza Foundation?
To ensure that there is grass roots organsiation that works alongside Lovedesh. Many people 'talk' about change. I want to be seen doing it. So that is why it is up and running ready to take the money and get the change done.
So what do the folks in Bangladesh get out of this film?
Huge voice, a chance to be celeberated and potential to have a decent artisan workshop to be funded that is created slowly in way that will do good and is right. And to show people there is more to them than the misery and destitution they read or watch in the media.
Why did you use unqualified or new talent to make this film?
Quite simply because I am broke. Also emerging talent are often more open to somene like me, who is also new to filmmaking. I trained as a professional actress. So have been in front of the camera. But this new experience enabled us all to work. to collaborate and have expertise as well as take risks. Take the camera man Yang - he is Chinese and in Londons studying - he told me he loved working on my film as he has never had the chance to do something like this before.
'You don't look like you work for developing nations?'
Exactly. That is the point.
Why should I buy the bracelet when my Government already donates my taxes towards overseas aid.
Quite. And is global poverty ending? No. I do not think so. Moreover - the retail brands are still at it. Take for example the recent debacle surrounding the sale of the 'This is what a feminist looks like' t-shirt that was made in Malaysia by women earning less than 62 pence a day. At time of writing they refuse to back down.
Do you think it appropriate that you can dress and look the way you do and feel you can represent developing nations?
Yes. Let me know what you think is appropriate dress code and I will review it. But any recommendations for beads on hair - no thanks.
Who are the companies or people who you wanted to work with, who did not reply, help or support you?
Hmm. At the moment am I ready to deploy this list. Best not be bitter. I prefer it to be a success on its own merits. So let's keep silent for now. But the fake posturing I found from people who claim they want to rid the world of poverty - versus the actual offer of help is in fact - zero.
Who are the people who did help you?
See the credits in the film.
'Why don't you get the bracelet made in Bangladesh?'
I have this asked by a few people. Those who want this either want me to do so, to lower my price to exploit the developing world and talk bulk orders - or want to get it made by Bangladeshis thinking this will help them. On both counts, after having explored it, it is not feasible, ethical or right for me. Let me explain?
Firstly I did try. The samples I got made were atrocious. What ought to have taken 1 month took nearly 6. I also personally found the living conditions of the supposedly 'fair trade' leather artisans who worked on my samples shocking. You see I sent a spot, snoop site visit. The artisans were sleeping next to their sewing machines and it broke my heart. Now at least they are making a living but I chose not to excarcebate their conditions and decided when I male it - I will return to invite them to work at my artisan workshop.
Next - the quality of leather is poor and they did not have the necessary machinery needed to get the job done. Right now the Buriganga river - a major river that runs through Bangladesh - is heavily polluted. I want to help the Bangladesh Government by building my own fair trade artisan workshop which will make products that diminish the negative ecological impact. So for now - the leather braclet is made in London, which gives it a different kudos.
So until I can find a authentic fair-trade outlet that I can control, it stays this way. I am concered as often the workers are still not treated the way I want to my satisfaction. There is no benchmark for fair trade - and even then the workers who get wages in fair trade are often compensated in way that keeps them still in poverty. It is why I am using the sale of the bracelet to build an aritsan workshop that runs like a co-operative. I lilke the idea of trying to ensure workers can be looked after, get medical bills paid - this is a huge ambition and not easy as there is no such thing as medical insurance for impoverished workers. Can you imagine if the breadwinner gets cancer or is hospitalised. In one fell swoop. their entire life savings are demolished.
Is there a vegan option for the bracelet?
Not at the moment - but I promise you I will be sorting this out. I want to ensure that there is way to get those of my vegan friends across the world on board. I only chose leather as it is the easiest for me to learn and do. It is all about funds and so my next idea is to look at fabrics I can use to make like watch style.
Will there be more products?
Yes. Slowly though. I do not want to run before I can walk. So stay tuned.
'We think your product is am-a-a-a-a-a-zing, brilliant - just unsure where it would fit in our store."
I had someoen say this before. Call me. Get me in. My problem is people hear Bangladesh and assume it is charity No. I simply make a high qality handcrafted bracelet in London.
Why should I stock the Lovedesh Army bracelet?
First and foremost because it looks nice and does good. How many items can you say in your accessories range can do that.
Can the bracelet make my store money?
Yes it can. It is why I have spent my life, time and busted guts to make this fun, stylish and an ideal talking point. If you come to me talking tight margins - know that I keep mine to what will enable me to sell the bracelet and ensure it also starts to create a pot fund for the artisan workshop I plan to build.