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This Is Northern New South Wales




Bachhara is a label made by the women from the Rayer Bazar slum in Bangladesh. Founder and designer Amanda Ryan from Wollongong created the label so that the women had a place of purpose and and employment. This fair trade label that creates one off beautiful designs was established a little over three years ago after Amanda travelled to Bangladesh to volunteer at the Jaago foundation school.

When she arrived she met an 8-year-old Bangladeshi boy named Kawlsar and his single mother, Brishty. Brishty was working 90 hours a week to make AUD$10 – barely enough money to feed and shelter her family. Kawlsar, who had never attended school, was addicted to sniffing shoe polish and cutting himself.

Like many women in Bangladesh, Brishty married young and quickly had children. But it didn’t take long for her husband to lose interest and he eventually replaced her with a second wife. Heartbroken, Brishty left to find work so she could pay the rent on her tin shanty house and buy food for her children. She worked such long hours that she could no longer spend time with her family. Kawlsar, left on his own at home, began running with gangs and experimenting with drugs that are rife in the slums. He had never been given the opportunity to pursue an education.

When the Jaago Foundation School – a free-of-cost English medium school for slum children – began operating in his slum, Kawlsar applied to become a student. Based on a rigorous selection process targeting the most disadvantaged groups of the Rayer Bazar slum, Kawlsar was awarded a place at the school.

Kawlsar’s problems did not vanish when he became a student at Jaago, but they became much more difficult to hide. At the time, Amanda was teaching art classes at Jaago and noticed Kawlsar’s behavior was as dark and destructive as the artwork he produced. Through art, Amanda and Kawlsar created a special bond and he began spending more time at school than out on the streets. With the attention he received from the volunteers at Jaago, his grades began improving, he gradually stopped cutting himself and he became a dedicated student.

However the root cause of Kawlsar’s problems had not changed – he still barely saw his mother and had no structure in his life. So when his behavior began to deteriorate again, Amanda called his mother up to the school to find a solution.

Brishty was at a loss to find balance in her life and in her despair, she asked Amanda to take Kawlsar and be his mother. Witnessing her desperation, Amanda understood this situation needed to be dealt with immediately. It was through her determination to find a solution for Brishty that the idea of the Jaago Sewing Centre and Bachhara was born. Bachhara is available in selected boutiques across Australia and is looking to now stock selectively in Byron Bay.

Amanda and the Bachhara team have also come up with the idea of Bachhara parties. This lets us girls take the chance to do what us girls do best socialize with our girlfriends, shop and help other women along the way.

With the Bachhara parties you can become your own fashion boutique for the night. The idea is to invite all your friends over, share the story of the women and children of Bachhara, try on beautiful dresses and make money for charity.

There are so many charities asking for a hand out today it is really hard to know whom to support. By hosting a Bachhara party you can support a charity and the betterment of the world but still get something for your hard earned cash. 30% of every dress sold at a Bachhara party goes directly to the Bachhara Foundation and is used for their charity work in Bangladesh. The best part of this is that whatever money the party host makes that night for charity she gets to choose what we do with it. Whether she chooses to sponsor a child, buy a sewing machine for the Jaago sewing centre or help train women to sew. Bachhara would eventually like this program to be able to give 50% of profits to the charity work but in the early stages can only sustainably give 30%.

The party host gets her dress at 50% off and if she makes over $500 for charity on the night she gets her dress for free.

Every woman who holds a party will then become part of a Bachhara VIP member team and will get further discounts and will be able to actively help with any decision-making and work done by the Bachhara Foundation.

If you would like to know more about Bachhara visit or email Amanda at

Also if you get the chance sponsor a child at the Jaago centre – Jaago is currently home to 280 children and 30 still need sponsorship. This is an opportunity to help children like Kawlsar.

In the words of Bachhara “Free your spirit, free the world.”