Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CALCUTTA 100 CLUB: Please help us recondition a friend's home

Some of you have signed up for our Calcutta 100 Club project.  The idea is that we get 100 people to donate just a small amount of $10 each time when a specific project comes up that we feel could easily be funded with the strength of our group.  The C100C appeals are usually very personal projects where I see that a $150-$300 could really benefit someone. We welcome new members and if we go over our goal, money is automatically put into the next project.

This time I'd like to ask your help in reconditioning the home of one of our young library members.  Bittu attends our Sunday library sessions.  His father lives elsewhere to earn money.  His mother lives in Bihar and his grandfather runs a business out of their home in the complex where I stay.  "Dadu," the grandfather irons clothing for all the people in our complex and Bittu helps by delivering the clothes when they are ready.  They live in a very small, temporary dwelling in the park. For quite some time, we have been talking about a few repairs and reconstructions we could help out with.  The idea is to set a few rows of brick at the bottom, build up with bamboo, cover with plastic tarps and then add woven bamboo walls so that the structure is a bit more sturdy and warmer than it is now.  We estimate this will cost about Rs. 8,000 - 10,000 (approximately $170)

If you would like to donate $10 or more to help make Dadu and Bittu's home more comfortable for the coming cold, the best way is through paypal.  If you don't have paypal there are other ways -- Please email me for details if you'd like to participate: mseeds.maura@gmail.com

For me, small-scale is still beautiful and your continued support always means so much to me.   I look forward to showing a photo of their home after the work is finished.

Thank you! Thank you!

Friday, October 04, 2013

A small income generation project with Paripurnata

Swapna Nath was once living at Paripurnata, a half-way home for the psycho-social rehabilitation of women.  She now goes there only when Mustard Seeds places orders for her wrapping paper. 

Swapna picture on right block printing on a saree
As part of its effort to offer some support to organizations addressing the problem of mental health for underprivileged people in Kolkata, this holiday season Mustard Seeds is once again selling beautiful handmade woodblock print wrapping paper made by Swapna.  It offers her an income to help her become more independent now that she is back at home.  We have some beautiful new colours and designs this year.

Even a small personal order will help us make this project work.  
Block printing is just one of the activities that make up Paripurnata's rehabilitation program, the women work alongside the teacher when they feel like doing this activity and try other handicrafts, etc. when they feel more inclined to do those.

You can purchase this handcrafted woodblock print wrapping paper (on unbleached paper)  from Mustard Seeds by sending an email to: mseeds.maura@gmail.com.  We can send abroad no problem ($1 per sheet + postage)  and if you think you can sell it at a craft fair or other venue, let's discuss the possibilities by email.  I ship by regular Indian mail and it takes about 2 weeks.  I fold the pieces to send.

Your purchase not only helps to support Swapna's beautiful work, but all the different positive seedlings we try to plant through Mustard Seed efforts aimed at art, education and the environment.  These wrappings look beautiful in use, with a string of jute or tinsel!  Look forward to seeing your packages or other ideas for putting these to use.

Here are the latest colours and patterns.  Let us know if you want an assortment or specific types:


indian elephant.by

small ellie.op

small ellie.xmas

square flower.ob

square flower.xmas

star flower.blk

star flower. lb-r

star flower.db.r

star flower.xmas