In 2003, Nasir Javed was 30 years old. He had a great job at Talon Fair Trade Factory, where Autonomie Project’s Ethletic products are produced. He was the co-coordinator for the Soccer department and was raising a family with his wife.  Because he was working for a Fair Trade factory, he knew his kids would be able to attend school in order to ensure professional jobs for their future.

One afternoon in April, everything changed. Nasir, his father, brother, and cousin were on their way home. Suddenly, their bus collided with a tractor.  Luckily there were no fatalities, but all of Nasir’s relatives sustained injuries ranging from a broken legs to shoulders. Nasir had been seated next to the bus driver and experienced the most damage.  Not only did both his legs break, but he sustained internal injuries and bleeding.

The company bus immediately transported Nasir to a hospital in Daska, as the community medical center was not equipped to cure his injuries. Since Nasir worked for the Fair Trade factory, Talon, all his medical expenses as well as his relatives who were in the crash were covered by the company. As a part of working for Talon, the workers and their families receive medical treatment free of charge at the shop clinic and more intense issues, such as Nasir’s are paid for at a lager hospital.

Nasir’s injuries were dangerous and luckily the company bus transported him to a better trained hospital, otherwise his internal injuries may have gone unnoticed. On top of paying for Nasir’s treatment, he received 100% of his wages for the time he was an invalid.  The wages were paid 50% by the Talon factory and 50% by the Worker’s Welfare Fund. The Welfare Fund is an account were extra profits from producing Fair Trade Footwear are placed. The workers at Talon then appoint a manager for the funds and vote what to do with them such as building the health clinic in the first place.  The funds are also used to help employees in a time of need, such as Nasir’s. 

After many surgeries and blood transfusions, blood donated by other workers in the factory, Nasir learned that he may never be able to walk. Talon and the extra Fair Trade funds paid for the best medical care in Pakistan. But after experiencing another accident, a fall, Nasir was told had to have his leg amputated. During this time, Nasir, unfortunately decided to retire from the Talon factory.

But in 2010, Nasir’s children Zara, 8 and Umar, 11 were in school. Nasir hoped a well educated life for them and wanted to return to work. He decided to go back to the Talon factory so his children could continue their education and have full health benefits. Nasir was welcomed back to Talon with open arms and was promoted to the Compliance Assistant Manager. Even better, his colleagues at the factory elected him the Manager of the Worker’s Welfare Fund. Now he helps others, the way he was helped.

An accident could have taken Nasir’s life and livelihood. But due to the Fair Trade funds, Nasir and his relatives who were injured  received the best possible care and months of being in the hospital didn’t cost Nasir a thing. His family still received his wages. Even though he chose to retire for awhile, especially after his second accident, Nasir then chose to go back to work. He was promoted and became the manager of extra Fair Trade funds that benefit all the workers directly! 

Now his daughter Zara is excelling in school and is planning on becoming a teacher and her brother, Umar has dreams of being a solider or kite flyer. They can live their dreams with their Father by their side, thanks to Fair Trade. 

 

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