Traidcraft News - January 2016

A Happy New year to you all. 2015 was a fantastic year for Traidcraft in Minchinhampton. Sales at the fourth Sunday stall have averaged around £150, Fair Trade Fortnight saw your amazing response to the Fair Necessities Campaign including all the fun we had with the Smarties and finally the triumphant day of the Christmas sale that we had here at Ricardo Road! Thank you to all my amazing team without whom none of this would be possible, and thank you to all of you who support all we do. I hope over the year I have been able to give you a small insight into how lives have been changed because people like you and me are buying Traidcraft goods.

Some time ago I wrote about Get Paper Industries in Nepal. Get paper Industries make the beautiful hand made paper for special wrapping paper. In addition to supporting the factory, Traidcraft have helped in planting trees so that the whole environment is much better for all the villagers.

In fact Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world – about 40% of the population live in poverty and girls and women suffer more than men. This is because families believe that sons will look after them in their old age, where daughters will just be a burden. So those in extremes of poverty feel their only choice is to sell their women and girls. This is obviously a different culture, and it is impossible for us to imagine how they could do this. However, my husband and I have been lucky enough to meet some Nepalese serving as Ghurka soldiers in this country and we found them gentle and charming. So I can only imagine their poverty was absolutely dire.

This means that it is very important for girls to be given employment so they can become respected members of the community. Get Paper Industries is providing jobs for women and now they have also formed a sister charity – General Welfare Prathistan. Traidcraft is helping this charity to set up a felt workshop for women workers in southern Nepal. So far we have only had pretty little stars for the Christmas tree, but as more goods come on sale I will be ordering them for you to look at and perhaps buy.
Clare Cooper.