To assist Community Fair Trade partner, Get Paper Industry in Nepal.
While shocked and saddened by the recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, The Body Shop Australia were relieved to hear all permanent co-operative members and their immediate families suffered no loss of life.
The Body Shop Australia are proud of our long term partnership with Get Paper Industry and thrilled to donate $9500AUD raised by our staff for Get Paper Industry to further support the many members who suffered partial or total housing collapse as a result of the earthquake.
Get Paper Industry (GPI)
GPI is a Nepalese paper‐making fair trade co-operative and was established in Kathmandu in 1984. GPI supply The Body Shop with a wide range of paper gift bags and boxes, many of which use handmade paper from upcycled cotton off‐cuts. Since 1984 it has grown from a local business employing about 20 staff to an organisation with 85 members, widely respected for its work in the community. During peak production periods GPI also provides employment for up to 400 seasonal workers, mostly women, who would otherwise have little or no opportunities to work. This enables them to pay for basic household expenses such as rent, food and clothing and send their children to school. Generally women live in a culture of subordination and are usually paid less than men for the same labour. GPI employs more women than men, pays them the same wage and the same benefits and has improved the status of women in the community.
The trade link with The Body Shop has enabled GPI to move into the international market and rapidly expanded. In 1993 GPI formed its own NGO, called the General Welfare Pratisthan (GWP), the core funding of which is funded from GPI sales. A percentage of each product sold to The Body Shop is donated to GWP – as well supporting core funding this income also provides seed funding for many of the other projects they co‐ordinate. This provides a firm foundation from which GWP is able to multiply the income from our trade through other donations.
More than 900 young women are actively engaged in The Anti-Girl Trafficking Programme across Nepal – They receive education and training from GWP staff to enable them to work in rural villages raising awareness of this issue with village members.
Improving Welfare and Development
Besides providing employment GPI is committed to welfare and development activities for its staff, local community and throughout Nepal GWP has developed an innovative programme to address HIV/Aids. In 1998 it was awarded the Global Business Councils award for business excellence recognising the business response to HIV and Aids. Today GWP is one of Nepal’s leading NGOs in the field; in December 2005 they received an honorary award from the Nepalese Government.
- Over 1 million people have been reached with the awareness raising programmes
- Over 2 million condoms have been distributed since their programme work began
- Over 1,000 artisans, school children and community members benefit every year from organised health care camps.
GWP supports 7 schools in and around the Kathmandu valley, providing different levels of support from complete funding to buying desks, textbooks, scholarships and teachers’
salaries –through these schools over 700 children receiving a much needed education every year.
Traditionally in Nepal it is mainly boys who go to school, with girls likely to drop out at primary level. GWP funds a “Send Our Daughters to School” campaign sponsoring over 150 girls to attend local schools.
GPI is also supporting one of the most marginalised communities in Nepal – the stone breakers (one of the areas poorest communities that break large rocks by hand into small stones to make concrete).They have provided them with a purpose built dedicated school. Now over 70% of the children attending this school are also attending the government school to continue their education – before this was less than 5%!