In January of 2010 we went as far as Pokhara, on the northwest of Nepal, to visit the Woman Skills Development Project cooperative, a very strong project that’s been giving chances to women from the rural areas close to Pokhara in a risk of social exclusion for more than 35 years. When we arrived there, the charming Ramkali Khadka welcomed us with a big smile and related to us with all detail and passion everything about this wonderful project she founded in order to give Nepali women the tools to self-sufficiency. Accompanied by her and some of the cooperative’s women we shared a day of work and of fulfilled dreams.
WSDP aims to include widowed, single, illiterate women and those in risk of social exclusion into the work market by way of educating them in different subjects and by providing them with a job in a continued and dignified way. This entity’s work is centered in the crafting of handbags, bags, children toys, slippers, purses… All of them completely handcrafted, made of 100% organic cotton and colored using natural dyes. The whole production process takes place at the cooperative: from the cotton growth to its dying, including the pattern design, the making… Thus they create whole collections with a very special and colourful style, products that obviously reflect the love with which they have been crafted, and thanks to which many women have been able and still are to live out of the profits of their own work.
This project started by educating 13 women in the seventies and nowadays more than a hundred women are part of and benefit from its programs of education and work. It works in a completely democratic way and all of its members receive fair and equal salaries for their work. There is of course no children labor and salubrity and no contamination regulations are respected.
Products at HIMALAYAN PARADISE: handbags, toiletry bags, purses, cell phone bags, toys and Christmas decorations from WSDP.