I recently went on a work-related trip to Lebanon and took the Traveller bag as my carry on. It was a perfect size allowing for a change of clothes basic toiletries and a few other essentials. Having lost my luggage on a few trips I always come prepared now and this bag was ideal. The shoulder strap also meant I could have my hands free for checking in and going through immigration.
The other thing I really love, is the fact that Jaya from Connexions in Kolkata designed and prototyped this bag from concept to production ready. Jaya is one of the first people to start working for ConneXions 15 years ago. At the time she was living in a slum near the railway line and was 15 years old. Now she co-leads the business, manages the card producers, designs new products and does all the correspondence and relationship management (via computer) with distributors around the world.
Jaya is now married with a beautiful 13 year old daughter. Jaya and her husband have a home of their own and she puts a lot of resources and energy into ensuring that her daughter is getting an excellent education and many opportunities she was not able to have. Jaya understands first hand how important economic empowerment is to women in slum communities. It is also important to see role models around you, Jaya's grandmother was a role model for her and now, she is a role model to many other women.
Being able to provide dignified work that is fairly paid, makes a huge difference to the resilience of a family. It opens up choices that were otherwise unavailable and enables a family it withstand set backs and emergency situations - such as medical problems or extra bills.
The Traveller bag to me, represents courage, creativity and hope for the women employed to make them.