WELL is an acronym for Women's Empowerment through Local Livelihood. The project started in 2005 as a Tsunami rehabilitation response when the areas around Auroville were severely affected. Following the Tsunami, the lives of people were thrown into disarray and that’s how the brand Wellpaper was conceived with its center located in Kottakarai village, Auroville.
The primary goal of WELL is to empower local village women with skills to build, manage and maintain self-sustaining units. The women receive training, guidance, and support in product development, market and team management, and personal development.
Women are the backbone of the project. They are part of decision making, product design, training programs & they also conduct workshops to share their skills. Wellpaper’s women have traveled around India training NGOs, schools and other organizations to share upcycling skills and knowledge for enterprise development.
Empowerment starts with an extended training program for conscious enterprise development. It continues with a follow up program for quality education. The learning contains elements of personal and group strengthening in order to develop independent artisan skills.
Local: The philosophy behind this humble word is firstly the respect for local community culture. It is a state of mind of the relationship between the host and the guest. Hospitality is a major value of the local community. In addition it is related to sustainability elements like upcycling local waste, preserving local craft methods to match contemporary design.
Livelihood income generation starts after completing the training by marketing up-cycled handicraft. Developing alternative sources of income to increase the market share of the bio-region.
All Wellpaper products are hand-made and eco-friendly, transforming recycled newspapers into art and accessories. From baskets, bowls and coasters to jewelry, X' mas ornaments, and colorful Paper Mache figures, there is so much to choose from.
Ecological awareness is achieved through distribution of the Eco-friendly products along with promotional activities. The products are created from local solid waste (mainly newspaper). The design of the products is based on values such as zero waste policy, simplicity, no machinery, and non toxic materials.
WELL strongly believes in and advocates women's empowerment. Over time, the women’s groups have developed into autonomous units, making their own business decisions towards their goal of financial independence. Today, some of the WELL women are conducting training workshops themselves to reach other local women and small business units.
"Quality production is our flag!"- Wellpaper products go through several quality checks during and after the production phase. In doing so, WELL can always guarantee the quality, handmade products to its supporters.
When you purchase Wellpaper products, you support an environmentally aware project and provide a direct livelihood to the WELL women, positively impacting their lives.
"Handmade with love!" -The WELL social project follows "green practices" in all its operations, including a "no-machinery" policy... though when the WELL women introduced a local idli grinding machine for making paper pulp, we embraced the meeting of tradition and enterprise.
"Keeping it Local!"- We use locally-available raw materials, from the primary material, recycled newspaper, to the glue and natural colors, thereby providing local livelihood, and minimizing transport costs.
"Zero Waste Policy!"- Wellpaper's 'no- waste' focus has inspired many creative, colorful, new designs whereby every scrap of raw material is used, upcycling even the final shreds into paper pulp accessories.
Skills Handicraft Arts Recycle Education
You are invited to a 3-hour introductory workshop to create art and products from waste (mainly recycled newspapers).
The following are the techniques we share:
1. Baskets Weaving Introductory workshop
Our experienced Wellpaper ladies will teach you how to create newspaper sticks that are made from rolled-up newspaper that serve as reeds for the baskets. You will be instructed and supported during the process. By the end of the workshop, you will have made your own basket. You will make the coloring of the final product on your own since its needs time to dry.
2. Bowls Coiling Introductory workshop
The WELL Women will introduce how to create beautiful bowls, containers, or accessories made of flattened and coiled newspaper sticks. Most likely you will end up with more than one item.
3. Paper Mache Introductory workshop
In this workshop, you will learn the making and usage of colored paper pulp. You will be guided through the process of cutting and shaping a serving bowl from waste cardboard on which you will apply the pulp in your own design. We will show you how to manipulate and smooth the pulp into the shape of a bowl. Depending on the weather it usually takes an average of two days for the bowel to dry.
The workshops are hosted by WELL women from the villages around Auroville. These women are very experienced instructors within and out of Auroville.
Wellpaper is conducting also art workshops which are still not scheduled. Please email us for further information.
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Freeland BookshopA Wide Range of Offerings on AurovilleWe welcome you every day and we offer a wide selection of books on Sri Aurobindo, the Mother, Satprem, Auroville, spirituality, fiction, environment, yoga, astrology, ayurveda, cooking, architecture, art, travel guides, education, children... in different languages. We also have a wide selection of stationery, postcards, CDs, and more.
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