Meet Begum, artisan of Bonoful Handmade Paper and maker of the Lots of Love Wall Hanging.
Bonoful Handmade Paper is a workshop that partners with Prokritee, a fair trade organization that works with women artisans in rural Bangladesh, providing fair wages, safe working conditions, and training in new skills. Ten Thousand Villages has partnered with Prokritee for over three decades.
Thanks to the gifts people have purchased from Prokritee, or donations made to our mission, they’ve been able to open workshops, like Bonoful, and employ more artisans.
Since 1995, Bonoful Handmade Paper in Dharagram, Bangladesh has specialized in crafting paper from natural materials like hemp, wheat-straw, pineapple leaves, coconut fibers, recycled paper and cotton waste from the garment industry. Fifty artisans work with Bonoful on a regular basis, and twenty-two additional artisans join the team seasonally. Bonoful began producing string art in order to diversify the skills of the artisans working for the workshop. Begum has learned and excelled at this new skill.
Begum started with training in paper making and in her 22 years with Bonoful has advanced into crafting journals, lampshades, greeting cards, and wall hangings. Today she is a senior artisan, she loves working with her hands, and values the respect she earned from her coworkers.
With the income she earns for her work, she is able to contribute to her family’s resources; she and her husband were recently able to buy a piece of land near the Bonoful workshop where they hope to build a home. Begum also finds joy in cooking and spending time with her two daughters.
Wishing everyone a very happy Valentine’s Day Begum reminds us that “we should cherish the love we have for our family members because they are irreplaceable.” The Lots of Love Wall Hanging, crafted by Begum and her fellow artisans at Bonoful Handmade Paper, is a wonderful way to remind someone of the love you share.