A Life As A Human interview with Faizel Kathrada
During his travels to Bangladesh, Faizel Kathrada recognized the inhumane conditions under which workers in the manufacturing sector lived. Being the remarkable man that he is, he decided to do something about it, especially if he was going to receive any work done by these workers.
In having developed a way to improve the conditions of the workers involved with his operations, he decided to create a foundation with like-minded individuals and their companies. Together, they would join forces to influence the current conditions for all workers in every stage of the manufacturing, distribution and sales processes. And that is what they do through the Freedom Factory Foundation.
Our friend Jose Albis introduced us to Faizel Kathrada and the work of the Freedom Factory Foundation. Needless to say, both have common goals in ‘making a dent in the universe’ and supporting the development of the world towards ‘more goodness’.
LAAH: What exactly is it that you do?
FK: My name is Faizel Kathrada, and I’m the founder of the Freedom Factory Foundation, a Canadian non-profit that supports factories that are socially compliant, respectful of their employees and give back dignity and value to them. Our network of associates focus on choosing these companies with the intention of making sure we are giving back in every step of the process, from the manufacturing of garments to the point of sale.
LAAH: When did you start?
FK: It has been an evolution over several years. During my travels to Bangladesh, I noticed the inhumane conditions of the workers in factories and thought that something must be done.
LAAH: Why do you do it and what is the motivation or passion that keeps you going?
FK: Well, we do it because we care. After seeing the conditions of destitute, I truly could not sleep at night knowing that I could make a difference but don’t. This got the wheels grinding and now Freedom Factory Foundation is a reality. I visit the Al-Ihsan Womens Social Development Center and school on a yearly basis, and seeing the fruits of what EVERYONE has been contributing to is pure motivation.
LAAH: Do you feel that what you have done so far has made a difference? If so, can you explain how?
FK: Definitely so, girls from the poorest of humanity are getting a second chance because of our work, that is priceless!
LAAH: Who are your allies and supporters in this enterprise?
FK: Everyday folks are our allies; people who care and have a sense of conscience. We also work with NGOs such a Human Concern International who have contributed beyond belief.
LAAH: Do you have plans to grow your involvement, to expand the scope of your project? If so, can you elaborate on these plans?
FK: Definitely! This year we started a campaign to help the refugees of Syria. We shipped out a 40 foot container with winter/spring clothing that will clothe approximately 10,000 people. We have also sent out urgently needed medical aid for the Syrian refugees inside and outside of Syria. We will continue to support this cause. We are also planning on increasing the number of grades we offer at Al-Ihasan school.
LAAH: Like anything in life worth working for there must be difficulties and struggles too. Can you share with us what have been your greatest challenges?
FK: Politics is the greatest challenge. There are too many instances when we try delivering aid to those that need it, politics get involved … and aid is delayed.
LAAH: How can people help you?
FK: The best way is through financial donations that will continue to not only maintain the programs we have in place, but also to grow and expand our horizons. If anyone is unable to make financial contributions, please remember us in prayers and thoughts.
Our current Indiegogo campaign From Surrey to Syria allows for small contributions that will go a very long way in impacting the lives of those who need it the most. All donations will get a tax-deductible receipt.
After this campaign is over, donations can be made through our website Freedom Factory.
Please Watch: Syrian Refugees Support – Surrey to Syria
The Life As A Human team thanks Faizel Kathrada and the Freedom Factory Foundation for the great work they are doing and for giving us this interview. Also, thank you to Jose Albis for introducing us to them! If you know them, or if their work has touched your life or inspired you in some way, please leave them a comment.
We know they would love to hear from you! And be sure to visit their website: Freedom Factory
All Photos by Freedom Factory – All Rights Reserved