WELLPaper: recycle to beauty

WELL_paper-bag When we were kids we were taught to make things out of waste: best out of waste and it used to be very exciting to know what one can really create from things that are of no use now  in their original forms and purpose. The most used waste product is the paper: newspapers, cardboards, books, magazines etc, so it would be paper in any forms.

We have grown up making such beautiful things from paper using the origami or paper-mache techniques. Here let’s look at WELLPaper that has gone to a different level .

In December 2004, a tsunami hit the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and tore the entire area into parts- killing people, uprooting families and rendering women and children helpless.

Danny and Orly, who had come to Auroville two months before the tsunami, were overwhelmed by the agony and pain brought by the devastation. With the desire to give a second life to the affected women, they decided to use their experience with papier-mâché and social work to support them. This culminated in 2005 with the genesis of WELL: Women’s Empowerment through Local Livelihood-Paper.

The goal of WELL is to empower- the women by providing them a program to aid them in setting up their own production units. For a period of six months, a group of eight to ten women learn to create products using recycled materials, mainly newspaper as raw material. They are taught, amongst other things to roll newspaper into reeds, which they then weave into baskets. From here on, thert never stopped: they have created coasters, table-mats, accessories, bags, plates and boxes- all of varied colors, shapes and sizes. Women laugh, sing, share and create not only new products but also a new life around them.

These women have become independent and have started a new life all of their own by creating such beautiful masterpieces. Apart from learning to make these beautiful creations  these women are even taught about hygiene and health.

Wellpaper is a story of hope and growth for these women. They make products ranging from pen holders to coasters to baskets and bowls. They are a masterpiece in itself and like we say in true sense is Art, because they are crafted with so much love and care. These women are an inspiration and their products are a symbol of the strength. To keep these products as a piece of art would not only add to the beauty of your home but also bring back the lovely memories of childhood and keep the innocence alive.

 

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