"We recycle newspapers and magazines. We don't buy them – we go and collect them from companies or people donate them. The only things we buy are the other materials like glue and varnish."
"Thank you very much for your interest in our story. We are a group of men and women who create art with recycled materials. Several years ago, volunteers from a movement called Fourth World came to see what our living situation was like. We live near the city's garbage dump, and the volunteers were concerned that families living here could have the possibility of finding a job outside the dump, and an opportunity to better our lives.
"Then, a lady from the French Embassy came and visited our families. That was when the idea of an art project using recycled materials was born. Volunteers trained us and taught us how to recycle paper from newspapers and magazines. We learned different techniques and, together, we've been developing new designs. Today we help out each other and we teach new members of the group. At first, it was very difficult to mold the paper and give it a nice shape. Some of us never went to school and our fine motor skills aren't all that good sometimes, but we kept trying and practicing. Today, we now can do our work very well!
"We recycle newspapers and magazines. We don't buy them – we go and collect them from companies or people donate them. The only things we buy are the other materials like glue and varnish. We find inspiration in the things we see every day, but we think of how we can create our designs with recycled materials. If someone brings an idea in the workshop, we all give our opinions to create a design that is functional.
"We get together to work two afternoons a week, as we all have families and other jobs. We still don't earn enough with this work – it's like a complement and also a creative therapy. In the group, we make friends and, among all of us, we develop support and dialogue. These are two afternoons a week are refreshing. Besides learning and developing our creativity, we also earn some extra money to take home. We dream that there will be enough people buying our products so that we can bring more people into the group and make our workshop grow.
In the workshop, the ambience is excellent! Serious work doesn't prevent humor and camaraderie. A project like this isn't immediately successful, and it's important that we feel trust among us. We are a good team. We've organized to clean up the workshop when we finish working. Every now and then, we go out and celebrate birthdays… we are important for one another.
"We'd like to thank Novica shoppers, as we receive a lot of encouragement from people interested in our project, people who buy our designs and show them to friends and family. Thanks to this support, we can continue growing and developing."