Weaving for Life
I am a strong advocate for encouraging learning and development. This can materialise in many forms. What is of particular interest to me is connecting and sharing ideas and practises across all boundaries: gender, economic, social, economic. etc.
On a recent visit to Nepal I was researching such ideas for enhancing and expanding a Global Leadership Programme (for 16-25 years of age) based on the one I created through the Magic Bus Centre for Learning & Development. This is where I came across the wonderful ‘Chetana – Women’s Skill Development Project’ established by Tara Timilshina over 9 years ago, in Pokhara.
Their mission is:
- To share skills and employment with the most underprivileged women of Nepal
- To help them become self sufficient
- Preserve traditional skills, art and design of Nepali handicraft
- Provide the finest handmade products using high quality raw materials
Currently, ‘Chetana’ has trained more than 200 women, and is aiming to expand to provide training for women in the more remote areas of Nepal where access to education is very limited. The training is enhanced by enabling the participants to access ‘Microcredits’ to support them starting their own business.
Why is this important? The following statistics are provided by ‘Chetana’:
- 27% literacy rate of women of Nepal
- 1 in 4 girls are involved in child labour
- 25% between the age of 15-19 are married (I dread to think of the percentage under 15!)
- This is particularly horrific! 160,000 Nepalese women are held in brothels – some as young as 11 years old!!!
- Also horrifying is that Nepali women carry the weight of their caste on who they can marry, and the pressure of their dowry to get married
So, if you find yourself in Pokhara, go and visit Tara and the women of ‘Chetana’. Help them by purchasing their products. You are at the direct source of the products! You see where the money you spend goes.
Their finance process is simple: Materials + Overheads + Fair Wages (and training) for the workers + 5% profit. That is the breakdown of the price of the goods you buy from them.
As their leaflet states:
“Be the change you want to see in the world
Your support contributes towards the empowerment of women
Creating sustainable livelihoods
Educate women and girls
Empower them to contribute to their country
As an intellectual force
Everyone will benefit”
For further info visit:
Contact: CHETANA WSDP – North Lakeside, Pokhara, Nepal
T: +977 61 463 600
M+977 98 0410 9401
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