Sundari joined Bhaktapur Craft Paper in August of 1982 when it was a project of UNICEF Nepal. She came from a very poor family, where her mother couldn’t support her children so she ended up living with her uncle for 18 years. She only received an basic education ending up leaving right before high school. In 1982, just after joining BCP, she was married and had soon had two sons. Since she worked with BCP both of her children came to BCP’s on site day care center when they were 5 months old. During the day Sundari got time off to breastfeed her children and had the comfort of knowing they were nearby should they need her. Both her children received a good education and passed Higher Secondary Level (our equivalent of Junior college). Both were excellent soccer players and went on to be successful national soccer players.
In 2004, UNICEF handed over ownership of BCP to its workers and Sundari became one of the shareholders and owners of BCP along with the other 128 workers there. She now proudly says “I am mother of two national football players and owner of BCP where I started my career as assistant craft man in 1982. An amazing journey for a woman who came from a very poor background with little education! Ganesh Himal has worked with BCP since 1985 and watched Sundari move into ownership! Congratulations Sundari!
38-year-old Muna Sakya, at left, works in the hand section making envelopes and notebooks. She also assists with packing and sorting. She began working at BCP in 1991. Prior to that she took care of her brothers, both of whom are now teachers. She lives with 14 members of her family. When asked why she wants to continue work at BCP, even through it’s financial struggles, she said. “All that I have achieved has been possible because of BCP. I am committed to helping it grow.”