From Paper Waste to Beautiful Art

Where do the beautiful local handicrafts come from? For example, in The Gambia travellers can buy beautiful books made of recycled paper at the hotels where
they are
staying. But who are the people producing the books?



The journey to Paper Recycling Skills Project (PRSP) in The Gambia is an
experience in
itself. Driving through the villages – children waiving at us and the women
working in their
compounds makes the journey definitely a part of the experience. PRSP is located
in one of
the many villages in The Gambia away from the busy tourist areas. The aim of the
project is
to provide exercise books for school children, skills and employment prospects
for the local
community and an ecological awareness brought about by making the books from



The paper waste is collected and turned into handmade paper through a simple
process. As a
visitor you will be taken through the process from being a newspaper to the
recycled paper.
The handmade process makes no books are alike and very sheet is special. The
books are
wrapped with beautiful batik dyed clothing; pieces of fabrics are offcuts from
the local tailors
shop. The texture and constitution of every page of the books is different
reflecting the use of
local materials such as flowers and fruit to add "size" and starch to the paper.

These books make excellent albums, diaries or journals and are ideal for that
unusual or
special present. You can buy these books different places in The Gambia, but it
is worth a
visit to the Paper Recycling Skills Project. During the visit you will learn
about the benefit of
the project and it is an added value to meet the people that made your book!



Beneficiaries of this project are pupils at different schools in The Gambia.
PRSP is selling
their products and the profit is used to buy school equipment. This is
personally handed
out to the different schools by the PRSP people. This way they ensure that the
products is
equally distributed to the pupils and as well as the employees see that their
work does make a

This is an excellent project easy for others to implement and make use of the
paper waste.

Linda Veråsdal, Founder Ethical Travel Portal,


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