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.