The Didi Society

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The Didi Society

Julia Norman, MA of Cooperation for International Development, founded The Didi Society in early 2011 after spending six months in India working with and learning from women in different capacities of community development throughout India. Two of the most influential women she met are leaders who had started initiatives to empower women in their communities: Meera Arya and Piyusha Abbi.

It was through conversations with Meera in particular, that The Didi Society became a concept, and conversations with friends, colleagues and experts that the idea grew. 

While the initial idea was paired with empowering women through fair trade in India, Julia held the strong opinion that true sustainable development would not be possible if there wasn't a strategic educational component for youth in Canada that would work to create a new generation of social justice change makers.

With the help of the first board members, friends, family and volunteers, the newly incorporated The Didi Society: empowering women through just trade ordered the first products from India and started selling them at markets. In 2011 The Didi Society created a curriculum framework that focuses on sustainable development (environment), human rights, gender equality and fair trade and engaged with local high school and middle school classes and groups, teaching these topics.

Since then, sales have increased and focus more on retail sales to local stores, we have partnered with a third women's cooperative in Guatemala, and expanded the education program to include training for youth to give workshops on the curriculum.