Get Paper Industries in Kathmandu handmakes paper gift boxes, wrapping and packing paper, notebooks, gift bags and printed cards. The paper is made by pulping plant fibres with water. The pulp is put on large wooden plates and the water squeezed out. The wet paper is then dried in the sun and cut to size.
Get Paper Industries has grown from a local business employing about 20 people to an international company with over 90 employees. It also provides seasonal employment for up to 700 workers, mostly women, who might otherwise have few opportunities to work.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its gross national income in 2009 was just $440 per capita per annum. In a country where uneducated women in particular have few opportunities, employment at Get Paper Industries helps them provide for their families.
Get Paper Industries makes its paper from natural and recycled materials like cotton fabric, banana tree stems, water hyacinth and jute. It also uses non-toxic dyes and has its own water treatment plant to treat its waste water.
Get Paper Industries set up its own charitable organisation, General Welfare Pratisthan, which runs health, environmental and education projects for the community. Get Paper Industries and General Welfare Pratisthan support seven schools around Kathmandu, funding things like annual scholarships, schoolbooks and teachers' salaries.
Get Paper Industries employs more women than men. Female workers are paid the same rate as men for the same labour, unusual in a country where men are traditionally paid more. Now that these women are being helped to provide for their families, their status in the community is being raised.