Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Getting ready to Launch our Women's Initiative Project


Our coordinator, Patricia, has arrived from Austrailia and has begun exploring the situation here in the Kathmandu Valley. Sunday we went to Bhaktapur to see the products and workmanship of what Nepal produces. I learned a few things along the way and we had a great shopping day.
Wool yarn store in Kathmandu

Although we've started the workshop for hats and gloves, the women are not ready to produce anything to sell or give as gifts just yet. We are at the point now where we need to select various styles and colors and get the women to pick one style to specialize in. We had a little meeting with the ladies and we discussed a tentitive pay schedule. We came up with a schedule that will allow the women to earn enough to enjoy life a bit.

Many work initiatives pay either a low salary or a small commission; we will provide both. Work initiatives, in our opinion, should not just provide a starvation wage. We also provide a nutricious lunch and an afternoon snack and tea. They only need to work from 10 am to 4 pm.

The women have chosen to sit on the floor, but we have cushions and the are comfortable.

Patricia also plans to make natural fiber shopping bags to export and even brought some patterns.  Nepal has some interesting fabrics and patterns, so it will be an pleasing mix of culture with Westernized variations on traditional themes.

A practice set of hat and glove-not high quality wool. 
This is the third week for our women's group and rather than having the normal attrition that we've had in the past, the group has actually accepted a new member. We provide them with a pleasent setting and all the supplies they need and they have responded quite favorably. Ranjana, the group leader/teacher, is a lovely young woman who's taken advantage of as much training as she could throughout her life and does her best. One of the problems with elevating Nepal is that many INGOs/nonprofits come with money and provide a month of sewing, knitting or looming training, leave the sewing machine/loom for the young woman and leave them without enough skills to find their way. One woman we provided emergency funds for after the earthquake had a sewing machine in her room with no way to use it for an income.




Thursday Patricia went to Kathmandu with Sujit to explore pashmina possibilities. She had a wonderful idea. We plan to use local women in other initiatives to start with. This will assure better quality, as we do not plan to deal in inferior products. We will use only the highest quality materials and inspect the products well.

I hope you follow along with us. We'll be putting the crowdfunder together as soon as we get a few more details worked out. Being as we are a very small NGO in a very small country our marketing strategy is to provide an awesome value for a donation, tax deductible if you are in the US.



 We'll have official news soon, so please stay tuned.

Sujit with Hari's taxi.
For all of you who've been asking how to help (other than sending a donation) please retweet and share our appeals often and if you do give a donation please post a picture of the hat/gloves and give a sincere reveiw of your gifts.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Money, Money-Everyone's Needing Money. Do You?

Our agency, Kay Garnay for Nepal is looking for high school students who want to earn money for traveling. If you have good connections to high schools or would like to establish some, we have a great part-time job for you.  

 

Our offer:

Introduce high schools in your town to our line of  school spirit hat and glove sets in school colors. The school will become your account and you will get commission for each set they order. You do not have to close the sale, just introduce us to the band/orchestra teacher/cheerleading team captain, etc. We can pay you upon delivery or we can save it in the bank in Nepal for you at 9% interest. When you are ready to come to Nepal we can buy the ticket and have the rest for you to spend while you are here. If there isn't enough for airfare we can send your money to you via Paypal. You can use your own money for the balance or keep the money.  

If you choose to go to Nepal we will act as host for you. We'll pick you up from the airport and provide accommodations at no charge if you'd like to volunteer with us. We can arrange for your trekking and will act as your point of contact throughout your stay in Nepal.

If your plans change and you are unable to come to Nepal you will get the entire amount refunded along with the interest paid via Paypal. 

 

Requirements:

Must be a self-starter.

Must be able to work alone or have a partner working with you. 

We will send you some business cards, sales materials and a sample set. We suggest two people team up together for this project and we are happy to hire two for each town or city.  

About the products:

We make custom, handcrafted, knitted hats and gloves in school or club colors. These are the highest quality of wool with micro-fiber lining in an assortment of styles.

Why are we offering this? Kay Garnay is a 3 year old NGO registered in Nepal. I am a retired American widow and founded the agency after the devastating earthquakes of 2015. You can learn about our work in other blog posts and about me at https://frugaltravelsnepal.blogspot.com/ where I've been blogging for 7 years about Nepal.

We have started our women's group and are eager to begin making woolen hat and glove sets for our customers. People wonder how to help the needy in less developed countries. I believe the best thing you can do for any struggling people, whether it be or , is to provide a job. That's how we plan to help the women of our little Newar village in the beautiful Kathmandu Valley.

 

Here's something you can do to earn a bit or maybe pass on to someone. Ya know how high school football teams are all about school spirit? We're puttting a project together whereby young people who want to travel can go to the school and see if they want to do a fundraiser. We'll send the hat/glove sets in the school colors the school initials. We should have about 5-6 styles to choose from. If a person wants to get a school to do this we can give them $1 per set that the school orders. I'd expect a school should do at least 200 sets. It would only take a few phone calls and a meeting and then a bit of PR, yes? They will be high-quality wool with microfiber lining.  Total cost is only $60 with the school splitting the shipping cost and keeping 1/2 the retail price. I would love to have some students do this and get money for traveling.

Here's a blog post about the project, as well as some background information about Kay Garnay for Nepal, registered NGO: https://kaygarnayfornepal.--handcraft.html

 


 


Friday, June 29, 2018

Our Pre-launch Women's Handcraft Initiative


Our coordinator, Patricia, has arrived from Austrailia a few days ago and has begun exploring the situation here in the Kathmandu Valley. Sunday we went to Bhaktapur to see the products and workmanship of what Nepal produces. I learned a few things along the way and we had a great shopping day.
Wool yarn store in Kathmandu

Although we've started the workshop for hats and gloves, the women are not ready to produce anything to sell or give as gifts just yet. We are at the point now where we need to select various styles and colors and get the women to pick one style to specialize in. We had a little meeting with the ladies and we discussed a tentitive pay schedule. We came up with a schedule that will allow the women to earn enough to enjoy life a bit. It will be a good living wage; after all, that's the point of our projects.

Many work initiatives pay either a low salary or a small commission; we will provide both. Work initiatives, in our opinion, should not just provide a starvation wage. We also provide a nutricious lunch and an afternoon snack and tea. They only need to work from 10 am to 4 pm.

The women have chosen to sit on the floor, but we have cushions and the are comfortable.

Patricia also plans to make natural fiber shopping bags to export and even brought some patterns.  Nepal has some interesting fabrics and patterns, so it will be an pleasing mix of culture with Westernized variations on traditional themes.

A practice set of hat and glove-not high quality wool. 
This is the third week for our women's group and rather than having the normal attrition that we've had in the past, the group has actually accepted a new member. We provide them with a pleasent setting and all the supplies they need and they have responded quite favorably. Ranjana, the group leader/teacher, is a lovely young woman who's taken advantage of as much training as she could throughout her life and does her best. One of the problems with elevating Nepal is that many INGOs/nonprofits come with money and provide a month of sewing, knitting or looming training, leave the sewing machine/loom for the young woman and leave them without enough skills to find their way. One woman we provided emergency funds for after the earthquake had a sewing machine in her room with no way to use it for an income.




Thursday Patricia went to Kathmandu with Sujit to explore pashmina possibilities. She had a wonderful idea. We plan to use local women in other initiatives to start with. This will assure better quality, as we do not plan to deal in inferior products. We will use only the highest quality materials and inspect the products well.

I hope you follow along with us. We'll be putting the crowdfunder together as soon as we get a few more details worked out. Being as we are a very small NGO in a very small country our marketing strategy is to provide an awesome value for a donation, tax deductible if you are in the US.



 We'll have official news soon, so please stay tuned.

Sujit with Hari's taxi.





For all of you who've been asking how to help (other than sending a donation) please retweet and share our appeals often and if you do give a donation please post a picture of the hat/gloves and give a sincere reveiw of your gifts.






Follow along with us

Twitter: @FrugalTravelsNe
               @KayGarnay4Nepal
               @StarViewChangu
Facebook: 
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:    http://KayGarnay.org
                   http://WhatAboutNepal.org
                   http://FrugalTravelsNepal.Blogspot.com
          http://StarViewNepal.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Possibilities for our woolen hat women's project


We started our women's knitting group last last week and they enthusiastically knitted their way to the bottom of the knitting basket. Sujit, the teacher and I will go to Kathmandu to purchase more wool and other supplies today.

The women made several different styles to practice with, but here are a few they found online that they like. Out of the ones below which hats do you like the best? Can you please tell us the top 5 you'd like to see offered? Please put your choices in the comments.

Do you know of any other designs of hats or other knitted items that would be of high interest for consumers? Please let us know what you'd like to see offered.

We are also planning to start a project as a joint fundraiser for high schools to make a line of football team spirit hats and glove sets.

 #1

 #2
#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

#13

#14

#15

#16

#17

#18

#19
#20

#21

#22

#23
Thanks so much for your help.

Follow along with us:

Twitter:   @FrugalTravelsNe
               @KayGarnay4Nepal
               @StarViewChangu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/Changu.Bhaktapur/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:    http://KayGarnay.org
                   http://FrugalTravelsNepal.Blogspot.com
          http://StarViewNepal.com

Phone: +977 015141181  9849930812





What to do in Changunarayan? How 'bout Mt. Biking?

Our volunteer, Nikki, from Belgium, his friend, Rupak and his friend. They had a great day.

One of our supporters from Finland, Antee, left us a couple high quality mountain bikes when he left a couple months ago. We have a standing offer of allowing room rent to be used as credit for bikes from tourists getting ready to return home. Our deal is that you can ride them, or an equal number of bikes, from the bikes that we have on rent any time you come back to Nepal. We've gotten bikes from tourists, like this. But not enough to start a bike rental concession.


Earlier this year a guest offered to donate some money to help us get the project started. We are so grateful for the gift of $1,600 for the project sent after travels were finished. Wow! so nice. There is a good demand here in the village for biking and many bikers come through Changunarayan on bikes.

Now we have 8 high quality mountain bikes for rent. 75% of the proceeds of the rentals will benefit the Changunarayan Village. The other 25% is commission and such for someone to manage the concession.

Since we didn't have enough bikes to actually advertise them, we were just loaning them to our guests and volunteers. Although we can give them for free to our volunteers, our guests enjoy 25% discount ($6 instead of $8). We can also provide you with a day guide if you'd like. I give one of my helpers a bike and the day off to act as host to our guest/volunteer. They could take him to lunch and give him 1,000 NRs/$10 or so for the day to guide them.

We also have several people living in the village who work as local guides or licensed, trekking guides. Hiring people direct from the village is a good way to save money while supporting the economy. Ideally, a tourist would hire a professional trekking company, but for those on a tight budget, a local guide is a wise investment. We are always happy to provide a name and phone number. We only ask that our guest give us a sincere review of the person so we'll know whether or not to continue to recommend them. If you plan to do some trekking you'll enjoy this post about whether or not you need to hire a trekking guide.

We are on the Valley Rim Trekking Route with several interesting villages and temples, forest and streams, and trails that can be both rigorous or mild, depending on the route you take. So, hike or bike, this quadrant of the Kathmandu Valley has much to offer, whether you come to Nepal to trek, study, volunteer or just take in the sites and rest.

Here's the News:

If you are coming to Nepal and like mountain biking come to Changunarayan and let it be your home base. Our mountain bikes are soon to be located at the entrance of Changunarayan and will rent for 800Nrs./$8 per day. We do not have the shelter for them made yet, so give us a call if you have interest. 015141181 or 9849930812. Stay with us at the Star View Guest House and get $2 off each mt. bike per day, as indicated above.

Follow along with us:

Twitter:   @FrugalTravelsNe
               @KayGarnay4Nepal
               @StarViewChangu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/Changu.Bhaktapur/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:    http://KayGarnay.org
                   http://FrugalTravelsNepal.Blogspot.com
          http://StarViewNepal.com

Phone: +977 015141181  9849930812





Sunday, May 6, 2018

Opportunities in Nepal for Volunteers and Digital Nomads



Of all the places in the world to volunteer, I don't think you can find a better one than Nepal. Notice these benefits compared to other countries:

1. A tolerant populace.
2. The local people genuinely want to know you. Nepal has recently been added to the 'World's friendliest countries.
3. The government, including police, are kind to tourists.
4. Violent crime toward tourists is almost non-existant in most places in Nepal.
5. Nepal is one of the least expensive countries to travel to.
6. There is a genuine need just about anywhere you look for help. You should not pay a private company  (or NGO) for a volunteer placement in Nepal. However, you should be prepared to pay from $5-10 per day for food.
7. The weather in the Kathmandu Valley, outside Kathmandu City, is mild and with fresh air. Chitwan makes an excellent volunteer experience in the winter time, otherwise, you'll need to worry about things like it being too hot and malaria other times of the year.


I highly recommend Nepal. I'd also like to let our readers know about our need for a computer person. It's been a difficult few years getting the agency off the ground and it didn't seem like I had done enough to help. Recently things have started to change and we are moving forward with some bigger plans.

Broadband has come to Changunarayan, which has created an opportunity for one digital nomad to come stay with us. We also have WIFI boosters so you can get a good signal throughout the building. It's been providing us with excellent service so far. The internet speed has been one of the biggest obstacles to having guests stay with us long term.

Star View Guest House is offering a free stay for someone traveling in Nepal with website design skills. We can provide a room with a shared bath at no charge and 1/2 price for your daily food/utility charges (half of $7 or 350 NRs.). If this is a hardship please let us know.


We are in need of someone to help us with our new website, http://WhatAboutNepal.org . This is a project I've been wanting to do for a long time. I wrote a book to help tourists coming to Nepal back a few years ago and haven't really published it properly. I just have it as an eBook. This project is to put the book up on a website that will help tourists with anything they want to know about Nepal. We are also developing another Nepali handcraft website.

The purpose of the websites is to not only inform people about the best reasons to visit Nepal, but to promote Nepali art and handcrafts. It will have the added value to be a source of funding for our projects. Presently, we use my share of http://TraditionalArtofNepal.com for administrative fees. Without this funding I wouldn't be able to have two college-educated workers working full time with me, etc.


Sujit has been my assistant for more than a year and has improved his computer skills immensely. What we need is someone to guide Sujit in the making of our Wordpress websites. We would ask for about 2 hours per day, 5 days a week, as needed as a consultant mostly. We are also in need of someone to teach the local, young people computer skills.

Sumary of offer:

Clean/serviced room, shared with one other volunteer if we get a full house.

Meals while you are at the guesthouse, prepared for you.
 
       Ingredients include:

             Cheese and eggs, fresh produce and coconut and olive oil

      Hygeinic, aluminum-free kitchen

Use of guesthouse common areas

Family atmosphere
     Our volunteers' experience generally is more like a home-stay than a guesthouse stay.


What we ask:

2 hours of computer work either working on the websites or working on your own project while you guide our simi-skilled staff to upload apps, SEO site, install and arrange buttons, etc.

What we would really love in addition, but not required:

2-3 hours teaching simple Wordpress web design to local young peopl and help to create an outsourcing workspace for young people in our village who may not have been able to go to college.

Whether you come to Changunarayan and help with one of the projects here or not, I hope you'll consider one of the secular, humanitarian, agencies helping the people of Nepal.

Note: We do not support the orphanage industry, nor the begging industry, nor the exploitation of the Nepali people through sweatshops.

Follow along with us:

Twitter:   @FrugalTravelsNe
               @KayGarnay4Nepal
               @StarViewChangu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/Changu.Bhaktapur/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:    http://KayGarnay.org
                   http://FrugalTravelsNepal.Blogspot.com
          http://StarViewNepal.com

Phone: +977 015141181  9849930812