Greeting cards are opening the path for a new beginning for a group of women who have escaped prostitution in the Philippines. They are now handcrafting cards for Sanctuary Spring, a new line of beautiful, handmade, fair trade greeting cards that launched today.
Jemela*, one of the new cardmakers, was in desperate need of work when her mother got sick and her family lost their home. She thought she was taking a job as a waitress, but then realized she had been tricked into a life of prostitution.
Jemela is now gainfully employed making Sanctuary Spring cards as part of a holistic restoration process operated by a local charity. With extremely limited job options in the Philippines, this work provides a critical source of income for the women in the restoration process because they still need to provide for their families.
This new work is also empowering the women and restoring their dignity. 'Making the cards brings out my creativity,' says Aiza, another cardmaker. 'I focus wholeheartedly on the work because it is not just about making a card, but making something beautiful.'
Sanctuary Spring is the creation of San Francisco-based Good Paper, the nation's premier provider of fair trade greeting cards. Leading graphic designers came up with the card designs, and the women in the Philippines incorporate their own handmade paper when producing the cards.
Says Good Paper founder Jimmy Quach: 'Consumers increasingly want to know that our daily purchases are also improving lives overseas. Fair trade is growing in popularity, from coffee to chocolates to flowers. We're pleased to bring greeting cards into the mix, and we're especially proud that Sanctuary Spring can help address the immense tragedy of human trafficking.'
Now that Loran, another cardmaker, has stable, dignifying work, she can imagine a better future for her family. 'I dream of my two daughters finishing school,' she says. 'I encourage them to dream big. For myself, I hope to manage a small store.'
More information is available at www.sanctuaryspring.com.
About Good Paper. Based in San Francisco, Good Paper is America's premier distributor of handmade, fair trade greeting cards and stationery products. Good Paper is the exclusive home of Cards from Africa (featured in O Magazine, Newsweek, and The Today Show), a greeting card line which creates jobs for young people in Rwanda who have been orphaned by genocide or diseases like AIDS. Good Paper's newest line, Sanctuary Spring, creates critical employment for women who are escaping prostitution in the Philippines and building new lives for themselves. Good Paper is a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation, and is committed to fair trade principles, including strong wages, protection of children from labor, and environmental sustainability. More information is available at www.goodpaper.com.