Bookbinding center empowers CFCA families
|Process of binding books|
1) Counting and folding. According to quantity and size, workers count the sheets and fold them in equal parts. For example, a notebook with 160 pages is created with 20 sheets folded four times.
2) Stitching and pinning. Workers insert the folded papers into the title cover with the pinning/stamping machine holding them together. Pins will bind the papers.
3) Squaring and pressing. To get books in an even, square shape, workers use a squaring/pressing machine.
4) Cutting and edge trimming. The folded papers are separated by cutting them to size. To ensure perfect shape, workers trim the book's top, bottom and opening sides.
5) Preparing for delivery. The books are tied up in packs of 30 and sent to a storeroom to be delivered.
July 5, 2011
A notebook is a simple object, really — just paper bound in a cardboard cover.
But to CFCA families in India, a notebook represented one of the greatest costs of their children's education.
The Hyderabad project recognized this challenge and in 2004, came up with a radical solution: the CFCA community could make the notebooks, which come through sponsorship benefits.
"The advantage of purchasing sponsorship benefits is twofold for many CFCA projects," Dan Pearson, director of international programs, said. "It provides direct assistance to sponsored members and their families, and it stimulates and supports the small businesses owned and operated by the families."
The operation was an example of this principle in action. It provided CFCA families with a significant educational benefit, as well as employment for CFCA families.
Mothers of CFCA sponsored children received bookbinding instruction through the CFCA community training center in Hyderabad.
Today about 10 families are involved in making notebooks. A monthly salary provides steady income.
Vectoria and Yeruva are two women who work in the bookbinding operation. They each struggled financially.
Vectoria, mother of three, said it was hard to afford all her monthly household expenses. "I tried to work in nearby factories to help the family financially, but those places were far from our house, and our children were small at that time," she said. "I needed to take care of them at home."
Yeruva, who has two sons, had a similar experience. Factory jobs were too far, and she also had little ones at home to care for.
Both women have benefited from their jobs at the bookbinding center.
"We use my husband's salary to pay the house rent, to meet children expenses and to buy the milk," said Yeruva. "And my salary is useful to buy monthly rations, vegetables and pay the power bills."
Over the last six years, the center has manufactured more than 200,000 notebooks, saving CFCA about $220,000 in notebook expenditures, and benefiting an estimated 10,000 children annually.
Notebooks for all
The notebooks produced by mothers of CFCA sponsored children have gained recognition in the larger community for their superior quality.
"Last year the women produced notebooks not only for CFCA children, but also nine private schools," said Raja Duggimputy, who works at the bookbinding center. "These schools have placed orders for the next three years because they appreciate the quality."
The mothers hope more private schools will buy the notebooks.
Besides improving the economic situation of the sponsored members' households, the center is also benefiting the community.
Goudi Yadiah, a local vendor, developed his grocery business in 2005, a year after the bookbinding center opened. Yadiah has noticed an improvement in his business and in the community.
"My business has increased," Yadiah said. "[The bookbinding center] is also benefiting the other small merchants, like other provisional stores, milk sellers and the garment businesspeople, etc. This encourages [these vendors] to continue their businesses."