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Araliya Community Company

This amazing group of women show how with determination and a little help, a Fair Trade industry can grow from a small idea. It all started when a group of Nuns from Rome began a school for the hearing impaired in Sri Lanka. They saw the need for an income for the mothers of these children and began a working group with them in the kindergarten of the school. From these small beginnings the Araliya Community Company began.

The Araliya Community Company handmakes coconut fibre string products: Hanging Planters, Trivets, and Placemats, as well as recycled paper products. The women are now employed in permanent part time positions, with award wages and a pension provided at retirement age. Working in small groups, close to their homes, each member owns a share of the company and each group elects their own board member, contributing to all of the company’s decisions.

With the growing demand for their products in Australia, the Netherlands and now also America, the community has expanded to employ more women from the local villages. The building of a factory has also been completed allowing local women a permanent place to work from. The products sold by this wonderful company not only allow these women to earn an income, but provide a network for social change and group discussion, and also contribute to the Don Severino Fabriani Institute for Hearing Impaired.

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