Helping workers - SAJIDA Foundation
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on some of the poorest and most vulnerable workers in the retail industry in a number of ways. At the start of the global lockdown, many retailers cancelled orders for clothes that were ready for shipping or already in production. Over USD$2 billion worth of clothes were cancelled in countries like Bangladesh, India and China. Many manufacturers received little or no payment for these cancelled items, even though they had already incurred the costs of production.
This has meant that millions of workers who rely on their income from working in these factories are not getting paid. In many cases this is their whole family’s only source of income. This huge disruption in the supply chain is the reason we at Lost Stock want to help.
In Bangladesh, the garment industry accounts for 84% of the country’s exports, and 2.28 million workers have been affected by stock cancellations. Bangladesh is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world, where the virus spreads easily, and social distancing measures are hard. Early on, the team here at Lost Stock realised that with our contacts in the industry we were in a position to try to help. Our Lost Stock boxes provide valuable funds to support garment workers and their families directly through the donation to SAJIDA Foundation, and we also pay factories for their cancelled stock - providing them with much needed revenue in a difficult time.
"We are having a lot of difficulties in our daily lives, we are not able to roam around freely, and we are worried about our health. Even if we want, we can’t meet with our parents. If I lose my job, it will be difficult to find a new one and I will have to go back to my village." - Ayesha, 22
How Lost Stock and SAJIDA Foundation are helping
We are partnering with SAJIDA Foundation in Bangladesh, an independent NGO whose mission is ‘health, happiness and dignity for all’. A significant proportion of each Lost Stock box goes to SAJIDA Foundation to support their work across 26 districts in Bangladesh.
SAJIDA Foundation is helping those who need it most, with cash transfers to replace lost wages, with vouchers for food and essential supplies, and with a number of social initiatives to support families in need. They've shared more details about the work they are doing in collaboration with Lost Stock on their blog.
"My husband passed away and I'm the only earning member of my family. I have to take care of my mother and daughter. During this pandemic, a lot of us did not get our full salary and it was extremely difficult to feed a family of 3. As a woman every day I have to face many challenges in this society, without a job it won't be possible for me to survive with dignity." - Nurani, 35
In response to COVID-19, SAJIDA Foundation’s team of over 3,700 people has already helped over 72,000 households with food and hygiene packages, distributed over 33,000 sets of PPE and installed 589 portable hand washing devices throughout the country. Their 50-bed hospital has been converted into a dedicated COVID isolation and treatment centre. In the ongoing pandemic, awareness work is crucial, and over 450,000 individuals have been made aware of best practice health and hygiene routines through a range of mediums and campaigns.
Cally Russell from Lost Stock says: "Over the last two months we’ve heard of whole families facing destitution and living with no income as brands cancel orders due to the impact of COVID-19 on their business. The disruption to the retail landscape in countries like the UK will undoubtedly change our high streets and result in major job losses, but in countries like Bangladesh the impact is utterly devastating. This is why we set up Lost Stock, to help families like these at such a horrible time.”
You can find out more about SAJIDA Foundation and their incredible efforts here, and we recommend that you also watch these powerful videos:
How the money for your Lost Stock box reaches workers and families in need
Each Lost Stock box sold will support a worker and their family for one week. See the breakdown of how the costs for each package is spent on our transparency page. When you order your Lost Stock box, it takes a little while for the money to reach SAJIDA, due to processes and checks required for international money transfers. We are delighted to say that the funds are reaching them in batches as the shipments of parcels go out, and we are getting regular updates from the people who are receiving support from Lost Stock and your choice to shop for good. Thank you!
Photo credit: SAJIDA Foundation