The villages that surround Mumbai, India, are the homes of thousands of families who struggle to make ends meet. Many try to make a living by working over 10 hours a day while making less than $1 for their work. Exploitation is a sad truth, affecting the poorest of the poor. Their lack of education, resources, access to credit and any leverage whatsoever leaves them vulnerable and at the mercy of factory owners (foreign or domestic). Often times, adults take their children out of school and force them to work so they can help the family survive. Women are mostly at risk, being in high demand for their domestic work.
Luckily, there exist organizations such as Diane’s Paperworks who aim to support the already gifted, but struggling communities of India. Through developing new innovative designs, raising the standard of quality, linking local artisans with the global marketplace, and advocating for sustainable development, Diane’s Paperworks has been able to become an organization with a conscience. They provide life changing help for young men, teaching them the skills of screen-printing on hand made paper, job training, housing, a basic literacy course, and future job placement. Beyond that, since most women have never been beyond a 5th grade education, Diane’s Paperworks works along side them to teach them math and reading skills. Women are also empowered by encouraging them to make decisions in the community.
Thanks to the empowerment that Diane’s Paperworks provides the artisans with, alongside Handmade Expressions’ efforts to bring these products to our retail partners, artisans are experiencing many changes in their lives. The sustainable income provides the artisans with enough money to invest in programs that improve the conditions of their villages, such as clean water and medical centers. Below you can see what products are made by these wonderful artisans.
Sassy, spiraled bracelets with beads of wood, glass, and seed. Tones of red, brown, and turquoise.
Made by Diane’s Paperworks. Through developing new innovative designs, raising the standard of quality, linking local artisans with the global marketplace, and advocating for sustainable development, Diane’s Paperworks has been able...