Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Krishna Janmasthami in Changunarayan, Nepal

Some festivals in Nepal aren't as 'tourist-friendly' as others. Here's one you will surely enjoy if you come around the end of August or the first part of September. Be sure to check the Nepali calendar before you book your flight.


Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Small Women's Initiative with Big Plans


The Kay Garnay for Nepal registered NGO in Nepal is a grassroots  agency to help the people of Nepal. As you probably know, depending on the economic index,Nepal is the second poorest country in Asia, just ahead of North Korea. It's our desire to enrich and empower our members, the people of our village and Nepal. Check out our website to see our work.

Our first priority is to get the start-up funded and and our gifts made. Each of our trainees are specializing in just one stlye. We have their bios and pictures up on our page. Donors can look at our hats being modeled by our knitters, each proudly wearing their own handiwork. We are asking for donations of just $30 (plus $15 shipping/handling) and will be sending hat/glove sets as 'thank you' gifts. Our donors will be able to select the style and colors they want. Here's our youtube video demonstrating our backpack you can have sent with your donation for an additional $15, about 50% its retail value in Europe. https://youtu.be/6mnc1EXivo8

How our money is to be disbursed:
Approximately 1/3  to 1/2 of the proceeds are used for expenses. After a small portion for each woman to save a little bit we will help 7 of these women and any who enter into our program in the future with such a need, with assistance in rebuilding their earthquake-damaged homes. Then the rest of the money will be used for our village projects.

There was a kind tourist who came to Changunarayan and made so many connections we all felt like he belonged here. He noticed a young man, a cook at a nearby guesthouse, who had lost his home during the earthquakes of 2015 and was still living in an earthquake shelter. The man had a wife and baby and the baby had been in the hospital several times due to diarehea and dehydration from the living conditions. The young man was such a hard worker and easy to get along with that our volunteer inspired others in the village to help this family with a home. Altogether, we collected 3,000 euro and the family has a safer place to raise their baby.




As time goes on, we hope to have an additional little bit for our own hardship fund to be used by members for micro-loans and hardship gifts.

We are also working on getting connections with high-end boutiques whereby we can provide non-sweatshop, above average paying jobs in Nepal and exceptional values for our western partners and donors.

Our vision for Changunarayan Village:
We hope first to help people rebuild after the earthquakes and then do projects for village beautification. We hope to help farmers transition from low-end produce to fruit trees and other higher yield crops.

Additionally, we hope to help women with female issues, such as prolapsed uterus and fibroid cysts. There is a high number of women with such issues that could be taken care of for well under $500. This is often a low priority in the family, as they would need to borrow on their land, therefore, most women suffer in silence. We hope to sponsor women's health seminars and similar such programs.

It's been the long-term goal of Kay Garnay for Nepal to encourage and help farmers to transition to organic, higher yield crops through projects such as a tool lending project, village recycling project, natural outdoor lighting, etc. Give us just 2 years and come to Changunarayan in 2020. It will be the highlight of your time in Nepal. Ultimately, we hope to make Changunarayan a 'Butterfly Village' worthy of a visit from every tourist coming to Nepal.
By the way, if you save $50 a month from this month, you will have enough money for an amazing trip to Nepal in 2020. If you need a part-time job to help you pay for the trip please let us know.


One of our long term goals is to promte and support Nepal's manufacturing industry. The idea is to change the society's dialogue. Presently, Nepal has a  large import fee/tariff on imported items, but the people think the western goods like Sony and Panasonic are better, even when they cost 30% more than products manufactured or assembled in Nepal like CG and Wega. We, at Star View Guest House are commited to buying only Nepali mad products and will be using the logo here to make stickers for buses, etc.







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